Coos County begins vaccinating teachers; Douglas County schools prepare

Public health officials in both Douglas and Coos counties said they hope to finish group 1A in the next few weeks.

Posted: Jan 15, 2021 6:08 PM
Updated: Jan 15, 2021 6:08 PM

COOS COUNTY, Ore. – Some Coos County teachers received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine Thursday and Friday.

Public health officials said they learned unexpectedly on Wednesday night that Coquille Valley Hospital had extra doses left after vaccinating all the health care workers that wanted it.

The hospital asked if they could open their drive-through clinic to teachers. Public health approved the plan and notified school districts.

“With the information that we had, Quinn from Coquille Valley was struggling to get enough health care workers to fill the remaining spots,” said Coos Health and Wellness director Anthony Arton.

Despite the extra doses, Arton said they are still vaccinating people in group 1A. However, he said the process has been going fairly smoothly and they expect to fully move on to group 1B in coming weeks.

“There’s really great coordination because we have this mindset that just because it arrives at our facility doesn’t mean it’s our vaccine,” he said. “It’s the community’s vaccine.”

Teachers in Douglas County have not received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, education leaders said they already have a plan in place.

Douglas Education Service District superintendent Michael Lasher said they will be responsible for distributing the vaccine to their 2,900 educators in the county.

He said they have six nurses on staff that work in all the school districts. He said they are working to be certified to be able to give the vaccines and he said they will be ready by the time they get that first shipment.

“What we’re hoping to do is about 120 vaccines a day,” he said. “That’s kind of our planning number.”

Lasher said he doesn’t know when that shipment will come, due to the lack of doses available through the federal reserve.

However, he said he hopes it’s soon after Gov. Kate Brown announced the state wants to begin vaccinating educators -- by Jan. 25.

“We still don’t know where the vaccines will be given out or how fast they’ll be,” said Lasher.

Public health officials in both Douglas and Coos counties said they hope to finish group 1A in the next few weeks.

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