Oregon continues crawl toward 70% vaccination goal

Coronavirus

Goal of reaching 70% by June 21 is in doubt

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown said the state of Oregon expected to reach the 70% vaccination mark next Monday, June 21, but that looks doubtful at this point.

To reach the 70% goal — which is the key to rolling back restrictions — another 70,000 people would need to get a first shot by next week.

As the state’s coronavirus case counts decline, two of the busiest vaccination sites in Portland are set to shut down this coming Saturday – the Oregon Convention Center and The Red Lot at Portland International Airport. 

Hillsboro Stadium will continue offering first and second doses of the vaccine through June 25. Out in In Vancouver, the Tower Mall vaccine site will stay open until June 29. 

While the mass vaccination clinics at the Oregon Convention Center and PDX are wrapping up, the effort to give out shots is now moving rapidly into local communities where people live and work.

Neighborhood clinics make it easier for people to get to them and there is an added comfort level. The hospital groups that handled the mass vaccinations will keep working to help vaccinate people.

“We’re actually looking at the possibility of providing vaccine for inpatients at our hospitals as well as making sure we have vaccines at all of our clinics where people would normally go,” said Legacy Health’s Brian Terrett.

More and more doctors are getting vaccines at their offices so patients can have a private conversation with their doctor about vaccine hesitancy.

Vaccine hesistancy is a big issue in areas like Marion County, where the largest mass vaccination clinic in the state started 6 months ago. It’s still going, but only about 59% of the county residents have gotten a first shot.

So Marion County is also turning to new places to provide COVID shots, such as outdoor events like festivals about to begin.

Over the weekend, Governor Kate Brown applauded a big push by Clackamas County Public Health workers to vaccinate people who are unable to leave their homes. The governor says local public health staffers are doing extraordinary work in communities around the state to get more people vaccinated.

Brown also said pharmacies have stepped up as well by extending their hours to make it convenient for people who work traditional 9-to-5 hours.

“The good news is that these vaccines are available in just about every nook and cranny of Oregon,” Brown said. “We want to encourage Oregonians to reach out to their medical provider to get their questions answered if they have questions.”

As of Sunday, the Oregon Health authority’s webpage stated that Oregon’s vaccination rate for those 18 years old and up is sitting at just over 67%. The site says around 87,000 more Oregonians need to get vaccinated in order to reach that 70% benchmark.

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