State says it can ramp it up quickly to meet governor's goal
BEND Ore. (KTVZ) -- According to Oregon Health Authority data, 1.3% of residents in Deschutes County, 1.2% in Jefferson County and less than 1% in Crook County have been vaccinated for COVID-19 so far.
Morgan Emerson, public information officer for Deschutes County Health Services, said Tuesday that every vaccine the health department has received, they've used.
"On Wednesday, Dec. 30, Deschutes County received our first allotment of vaccines from the state, and that was 500 vaccines," Emerson said. "And as of today we've been able to administer all of those vaccine doses."
"We get a weekly allotment of vaccines from the state, and our goal to make sure we administer all of those," she added.
Emerson said the county health department's plan is to work closely with clinics throughout the area to try and get as many vaccines out as they can.
Vicky Ryan, public information officer with the Crook County Health Department, said she feels that the governor's demand to speed up vaccinations is possible, but they need more vaccines from the state first.
"I think as long as the vaccine is available, I think they are realistic. Where as a small, medium-sized county such as Crook County, we're only receiving 100 doses per week,” Ryan said. “So if we continue to only get 100 doses, it's going to be slow for us to get the majority of our population vaccinated in such a short period of time."
Ryan noted that communication between the county and the state hasn’t been perfect, but she is looking forward to learning more information as it comes in.
"It's been challenging," she said. "They are starting to release more definitive data, more definitive data bites that we can use, in regards to when we can expect each group."
Jefferson County health officials had not responded to our request for information by Tuesday evening.
The OHA held a news conference Tuesday afternoon to discuss Gov. Kate Brown’s directive to ramp up and get 12,000 Oregonians vaccinated a day within two weeks.
"Oregon has one of the most effective systems in the nation for delivering vaccines, but the virus is testing the adaptability of our immunization program, too,” OHA Director Patrick Allen said.. “These actions will build on our current strengths to increase Oregon's COVID-19 vaccination capacity and accelerate our progress through Phase 1a.”
“In turn, speeding the pace of Phase 1a vaccinations will enable us to get to critical workers, vulnerable populations and the general population sooner," he added.
The state plans to eventually make vaccines available at retail pharmacies and mobile vaccination clinics.
Here's the OHA's COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, including county data.