Over the weekend, Klamath County Public Health was able to vaccinate 414 individuals who are part of the faculty, staff and administration of schools serving Pre-Kindergarten through high school students.
This exhausted Public Health’s immediate supply of vaccine. It is unknown at this time how much vaccine will arrive from Oregon Health Authority this week.
Public Health is working with its community partners to distribute vaccine, ensuring those eligible for the groups in Phases 1-A and 1-B, Group 1 can continue scheduling. It is our highest priority to ensure that doses received in Klamath County are made available to our community by any and all possible means.
Plans are being made to serve individuals who are 80 and older, beginning February 8. All vaccination depends upon the availability of vaccine. There is no registry and no appointments are being made for individuals beyond Phases 1-A and 1-B, Group 1.
There are about 5,000 people in Klamath County who are 75 and older, with another 10,000 between the ages of 65 and 74. Providing vaccination to everyone will be a long process.
Oregon Health Authority provided the slide below on Friday’s press conference with Governor Kate Brown. By the week of May 2, Oregon Health Authority projects that only 78% of educators and those 65 and older will be vaccinated.
As of Sunday, 971 people had received both doses of vaccine in Klamath County. The total number of doses given was 4,838. Local vaccinations began on December 18, 2020.
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Sky Lakes Medical Center and Klamath Tribal Health & Family Services was provided access to vaccine the week of December 21 to serve these agencies' frontline healthcare workers. In Oregon, hospitals and Tribal Health have been made priority vaccination agencies, as each serves its local vulnerable populations. After these institutions are served other healthcare workers will be provided vaccination opportunities, and will be followed by long-term care facilities' employees and residents.
The federal government has shared its distribution plans. Those plans indicate it will take time to produce enough vaccine for everyone who wants to be vaccinated. This means that vaccine will be distributed in phases. Early vaccine is scheduled for people at highest risk of exposure or severe COVID-19 illness. As vaccine supply increases, more people will be able to get the vaccine. Early vaccine is likely to be tightly controlled, with states having increasing flexibility to determine access to vaccine in later phases.