Douglas County clinics working hard to vaccinate seniors

“It’s been pretty good. Mostly it’s the overwhelming demand for the vaccine and the limit we have on appointment times and the vaccine quantity itself.”

Posted: Feb 16, 2021 7:07 PM
Updated: Feb 16, 2021 7:09 PM

ROSEBURG, Ore. -- As vaccination rollout continues for Douglas County seniors, staff at some medical clinics say they are doing their best to get their older patients vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Under Douglas County’s vaccination plan, the county has tasked local pharmacies and clinics to sign seniors up for the vaccine and administer the doses to them.

Public health officials said they are doing it this way because they didn’t want to host a mass vaccination clinic for the seniors, as they are the most vulnerable to the virus.

Right now, there are 43 participating clinics in Douglas County.

Seniors over the age of 80 became eligible last Monday, and vaccine coordinator Megan Chaendera said they’ve vaccinated 60 of their elderly patients so far.

“The people who are able to get in that have been vaccinated for their first shot so far have been very excited to be here, which is a really nice change,” she said.

Now that seniors over the age of 75 are now eligible as of Monday, she said she expects the demand to increase. However, she said they’re ready.

“It’s been pretty good,” said Chaendera. “Mostly it’s the overwhelming demand for the vaccine and the limit we have on appointment times and the vaccine quantity itself.”

At Aviva Health, marketing and development director Mark Tsuchiya told KEZI 9 News that their goal was to vaccinate at least 400 of their senior patients over the age of 80 by the end of last week.

However, he said they were only able to vaccinate 150 due to the overall low vaccine supply in the state and county.

“Things are kind of inching forward,” said Tsuchiya. “We obviously like things to move along quicker. We like to get vaccinations out there as fast as possible.”

However, he said they are happy with their plan, no matter how long it takes.

“It has been a slow but successful process,” said Tsuchiya.

Aviva Health is also leading the county’s mass vaccination clinics. Tsuchiya said they have another one planned this Saturday at the Douglas County Fairgrounds.

He said they will be focused on getting people their second doses.

This week, public health officials are expecting 1,400 doses for the entire county. They said the shipment is slightly delayed due to snowstorms in different parts of the country.

However, they said they will do their best to distribute the doses evenly to each participating clinic.

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