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Douglas County Health Official Says COVID-19 Variants Are 'Worrisome'

Tiffany Eckert


A Douglas County Health Official says COVID-19 vaccination efforts seem to be going well, but he warns against complacency.

700 doses are expected to be given out at Saturday’s near booked drive thru clinic, it’s the 5th mass vax event for the county. Public Health Administrator Dr. Bob Dannenhoffer says though cases are going down, it’s important to keep taking precautions.

“I think we’re at a crossroads because the variants of this virus are worrisome," he said, "And the variants of this virus we know are out there, even in Douglas County even in other places in Oregon, and if those variants take hold, we find that they’re much more contagious and maybe less protected by the vaccine.”

A varient from Brazil was identified in January. Dannenhoffer said they're waiting to hear back from the Centers of Disease Control on other samples the sent out.

Overall, Dannenhoffer said it’s hard to track the total number of vaccinated residents because a large portion of doses have gone to both veteran and tribal clinics.


He adds that data goes to the federal government not the state. But the county has been working with officials, including Sen. Ron Wyden, to gain access.



Copyright 2021 KLCC


Melorie Begay is a multimedia journalist for KLCC News. She was the Inaugural KLCC Public Radio Foundation Journalism Fellow. She has a bachelors in Multimedia Journalism from the University of New Mexico. She previously interned at KUNM public radio in Albuquerque, NM and served as a fellow for the online news publication New Mexico In Depth.