North Central Public Health District (NCPHD) held its first mass vaccine event this week at the Fort Dalles Readiness center in The Dalles, vaccinating priority groups as determined by state guidelines.
- Vaccine events planned, for now, twice weekly at the Readiness Center
- Events are by invitation only and limited to Phase 1a groups, which includes medical and dental providers, law enforcement, others
- Anticipated that each event will vaccinate about 50 people, with a stand-by list in case of no-shows
- Health district continues developing list of eligible recipients in Phase 1a
The first event, which was intentionally smaller since it served as a trial run, vaccinated 21 people. (It is not uncommon for a vial of 10 doses to have an extra dose.) Future events will likely vaccinate 50 people or more, as more vaccines become available
Phase 1a individuals in the counties that NCPHD serves – Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam – are eligible for the vaccine, but due to short supply they have not yet all been vaccinated.
NCPHD continues to work to reach all eligible individuals in Phase 1a, and will add educators to the list of persons eligible to receive vaccine starting Jan. 25.
Vaccinations of Phase 1a groups are complete in Sherman County and will be finished late next week in Gilliam County.
Jessica Donnell, who works at The Dalles Dental Care, said she got the vaccine to “keep myself and my patients safe.”
Michelle Greenup, of The Dalles Dental Care, said she got vaccinated “Just to keep people protected around me. I have a lot of older family members I don’t want to get sick.”
After getting her vaccine, Greenup said, “It wasn’t bad at all. It was delightful for a shot.”
Molly Dodd Martinson, who works at Columbia River Dental in The Dalles, said, “I’m a dental hygienist so it’s been kind of concerning even though we’ve worn full protection. And I’m 50 and I have a medically compromised son.”
Kristen Slatt, vaccine coordinator for NCPHD, said the health district continues to identify the many organizations that fit within the four groups in Phase 1a. Broadly, the groups include all health care personnel, emergency responders, and staff and residents of assisted living facilities and other group homes and treatment facilities.
For a detailed list of the groups in Phase 1a, please visit here.
Mid-Columbia Medical Center and One Community Health are also vaccinating their staff in Phase 1a.
Slatt estimated up to 1,000 people in Phase 1a will ultimately get vaccinated in Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties.