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Some Oregon Counties Still Getting Smaller Share of Vaccines

State of Oregon

Many county public health departments in Oregon say they’re not getting enough COVID-19 vaccine doses from the state. That includes Lincoln and Douglas County.

Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer, Douglas County’s Public Health Officer, said while the county’s system of distributing vaccine doses is effective, they’re getting less than their share.

“So, the vaccine delivery model is going well but we’re getting just a pittance in terms of the amount of vaccine we need,” Dannenhoffer said, “So, for example, last week, we got 800 dose for our population 80 and above. There are 72 hundred people in that age group.”

Dannenhoffer said unlike counties with large hospital systems, Douglas doesn’t have any additional supply of vaccines to tap into.

Lincoln County public health has had to delay a vaccine clinic scheduled for next Tuesday because it is getting fewer doses than anticipated. They’ve been told to expect just 500 next week.

Douglas County is experiencing a spike in COVID-19 cases, putting it in danger of moving from “high risk” to the “extreme risk” category under state guidelines.

Thursday, the county saw its highest daily new case count of 44, after multiple days of growing numbers. Public Health Officer Dannenhoffer said the county previously had very low rates of COVID-19 cases. They’d opened indoor dining, gyms and many schools. But, if the county continues at this rate, the state could impose restrictions.

“We can totally get this under control,” Dannenhoffer said. “This disease does not have a multi-year incubation period. The incubation period is usually, 5, 6, or 7 days. And you can really get a disease under control in 1 or 2 incubation periods. So if we work hard in the next 10 or 11 days we can really get this down.”

Dannenhoffer said there are outbreaks at 22 schools, a nursing facility and a number of workplaces. He urges people to wear masks, social distance, avoid social gatherings, and stay home if sick. 

Copyright 2021 KLCC.

Rachael McDonald is KLCC’s host for All Things Considered on weekday afternoons. She also is the editor of the KLCC Extra, the daily digital newspaper. Rachael has a BA in English from the University of Oregon. She started out in public radio as a newsroom volunteer at KLCC in 2000.
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