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Counties working to reach Oregonians 16 and up as vaccine eligibility expands

Officials from both counties said they are more than enough shots to give to those who want it.

Posted: Apr 19, 2021 7:06 PM
Updated: Apr 19, 2021 7:11 PM

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- Now that all Oregonians over the age of 16 are eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine starting this Monday, health officials in Douglas and Coos counties are doing everything they can to adapt to the change.

Officials from both counties said they are more than enough shots to give to those who want it.

Douglas County public health officer Bob Dannenhoffer said they received 3,100 doses of the Moderna vaccine this week, which is close to what they get on average.

He said they also have a mass vaccination clinic planned for this Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds that will be dedicated to people in the 16 and over category.

“Our goal in the next few weeks is to get people on the fence to decide it’s their turn to get the vaccine,” he said.

However, Dannenhoffer said he expects some roadblocks along the way.

“This week is a little tight on vaccines because the (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine is not being administrated,” said Dannenhoffer. “In addition, more places are needing Pfizer vaccine because only the Pfizer vaccine can go to 16 and 17-year old’s.”

For more information on signing up for a vaccine appointment in Douglas County, visit Douglas Public Health Network’s website here.

In Coos County, Coos Health and Wellness assistant director Eric Gleason said the transition into the 16 and older category has been going fairly smoothly.

He said they get about 1,300 to 1,900 doses a week, which he expects to be enough for the people who are newly eligible.

“We’re at a good point right now,” said Gleason. “It didn’t feel like that at first, but we’re at a spot now where everyone who wants vaccine can get one.”

However, both Dannenhoffer and Gleason said they’re hopeful the new eligibility guidelines will encourage more people to get the shot, especially if they’re on the fence about it.

“We hope that as more and more people get vaccinated, more and more people see them get vaccinated and say wow this is really working,” said Gleason.

For more information on signing up for a vaccine appointment in Coos County, visit Coos Health and Wellness’ website here.

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