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Booster shots rolling out across Oregon

Booster shots for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not yet available.

Posted: Sep 27, 2021 12:42 PM
Updated: Sep 27, 2021 6:20 PM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Health organizations and pharmacies are already starting to roll out the newly approved Pfizer booster shots in Oregon and across the country.

According to the Oregon Health Authority, people in the following categories are eligible for the booster dose six months after their second dose:

  • Age 65 and older
  • Long-term care facility residents
  • Ages 50 to 64 with underlying medical conditions

People ages 18 to 64 who received the Pfizer vaccine may also receive a booster dose after six months if they:

  • Have underlying medical conditions
  • Are at higher risk of COVID-19 exposure and transmission due to their workplace or institution

Eugene resident Jim Westcott and his wife received their booster shots Sunday at a nearby Fred Meyer. As he puts it, he’s listening to science.

“When the booster became available, I did some research and made an appointment,” Westcott said. “Within 24 hours I got my booster shot.”

And with flu season still a reality, he received his flu shot as well in the same appointment.

“I got a flu shot last September, so they are due,” Westcott said. “I got one in each arm.”

Westcott said he understands that you can still become infected while fully vaccinated but believes this is a step in the right direction.

“I am hoping this booster stops the breakthrough cases, and we can get a handle on it,“ he said.

He said there were no lines and no one else waiting at the pharmacy when they received their shots, sharing that the process is simple with many slots open on pharmacies’ websites.

“It’s medication like a flu shot,” Westcott said. “Your kids have to have all types of vaccinations to go to school, and we are asking people to get one vaccination to protect each other. It’s not political. Just think of it as another vaccination for health.“

Lane County Public Health will hold vaccination clinics at the Lane Events Center beginning Tuesday for eligible community members. There are clinics Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m and on Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Appointments need to be made for the first week. Next week walk-ins are welcome.

Officials said they can vaccinate 800 people each day. As of Monday afternoon, more than 500 people have made an appointment for Tuesday.

Dr. Patrick Luedtke with Lane County Public Health said some weeks the county sees 15-20 percent of breakthrough cases.

“Now, we're seeing cases of breakthrough infections and people who are not surveilled every week," Luedtke said. "So clearly a Delta variant is a worst case variant.”

Booster shots for those who received the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines are not yet available.

Community members can receive their booster shots at local pharmacies, health care providers or vaccination clinics held by the county.

"I don’t want to get sick, and I don’t want to take any chances," Westcott said. "I got the vaccine. It was easy to do. It was free. I can go out and enjoy myself."

CLICK HERE to schedule your appointment with LCPH.

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