Move comes as state shifts doses to Portland-area health care workers
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) — The Oregon Health Authority will not send any first dose COVID-19 vaccines to Deschutes County next week, as some intended shipments are being shifted to the Portland area, where thousands of Phase 1a health care workers are still waiting to be vaccinated.
As a result, first dose vaccine appointments are fully booked at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, officials announced late Friday, and registration will be closed until the state allocates additional first doses to Deschutes County.
Individuals who are eligible for their second dose of the vaccine will be able to receive their shot as scheduled. Appointments are scheduled when individuals receive their first vaccine, and OHA has committed to sending second doses.
“In the latter part of each week, we learn about our vaccine allocation from Oregon Health Authority for the following week,” said Dr. George Conway, director of Deschutes County Health Services. “Next week, we will know if we can expect more vaccine supplies for the following week, and we will keep our communities updated.”
Deschutes County Health Services and St. Charles Health System will resume scheduling vaccine appointments for eligible individuals when additional first dose vaccines are received.
Deschutes County Health Services has launched an online platform that allows residents to sign up to be notified when they are eligible to be vaccinated. More information is available at www.deschutes.org/covid19vaccine.
The Oregonian/Oregon Live reported that the Portland area is getting more than 17,000 doses next week for Phase 1a workers, and nearly 14,000 of them represent new doses, for a total of 32,000 doses next week. That is due to a 10,000-dose increase from Moderna, as well as reducing doses to counties that have completed vaccinating 1a populations.
Friday’s news came a day after Portland area health officers said tens of thousands of health care workers might wait weeks or months to get a vaccine, when some areas, such as Deschutes County, had completed the Phase 1a vaccinations and began offering Phase 1b vaccinations to all residents 75 and over.