EUGENE, Ore. -- Pharmacies across the country are gearing up to vaccinate people as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program.
There are currently 127 participating locations in Oregon, including Safeway, Albertsons, Costco, and Health Mart.
KEZI 9 News spoke to a pharmacist at the Safeway in Eugene who said they have received enough vaccine doses to give out roughly 20 shots every weekday and 10 shots on both Saturday and Sunday.
This number is expected to increase over time as the federal government provides more doses.
Safeway said anyone who is eligible and interested in receiving their vaccine can visit their website to book an appointment. When KEZI checked the website, there were no appointments available within 50 miles of the 97401 zip code. However, more are expected to open up in the future.
Also today, Oregonians between the ages of 75 and 79 became eligible to receive the vaccine.
“I’m very happy,” said 75-year-old John Roy. “I think it’s going to be a good thing for me and a good thing for all of us if we get more people vaccinated.”
Roy is a Lane County resident who filled out the preregistration form on the county’s website. When we spoke to him Monday afternoon, he said he was not sure what steps to take next.
“It's still a little bit unclear because I saw my older brother in Texas, he got it two weeks ago,” Roy said. “It's still confusing but it's getting better.”
Lane County has plans to expand its mass vaccination efforts to reach more people and meet the growing demand as the number of eligible residents continues to increase each week.
Health officials say that by next weekend, a new mass vaccination facility will be operational. The new site will operate simultaneously alongside the current location.
The new site will have the capacity to vaccinate up to 2,000 people during a single day, according to Steve Adams, Lane County Public Health’s incident commander.
Adams said the current location has the capacity to administer 2,500 doses each day, so when both are operating at the same time, up to 4,500 Lane County residents can be vaccinated in a single day.
It’s important to note that the county’s ability to have both facilities running will depend on the number of doses allocated to Lane County each week.
Lane County’s mass vaccination clinics are invite-only events, meaning a public health official will contact eligible people with information one week prior. Doses are limited so they are unable to invite everyone currently eligible at this time.