Hood River County Health Department: Next Four to Six Weeks Critical

The highly contagious B.1.1.7 variant has fueled an alarming fourth wave of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations worldwide. If we don’t double down on safety measures until more people are vaccinated we could be next for these reasons:

  1. The vaccines are not perfect. Assuming 95% efficacy, approximately 1/20 vaccinated people can still get COVID-19 and/or be asymptomatic carriers/spreaders. We’ve already seen this in Oregon.
  2. The vaccine only helps prevent COVID-19 (the disease) if it detects SARS-CoV-2 (the virus) in a vaccinated person. The vaccinated person is still infected by the virus, but their immune system has been made ready by the vaccine to fight back. In other words, you can still get infected if you are vaccinated, but the chance of disease and serious symptoms is reduced. Still unknown is whether the vaccinated person can spread the virus as their immune system is fighting it?
  3. Finally, we don’t know how well the vaccine works against all the existing and emerging variants.

Hood River County Health Officer, Dr. Christopher Van Tilburg said; “It’s sort of like running a marathon in which you lead by a wide margin…you don’t stop running one mile before the finish line, no matter how big your lead!” As Hood River County continues vaccine distribution, please keep taking protective measures to help keep yourselves, your families, coworkers, loved ones, friends and communities safe and healthy. Please stay home if you are not feeling well!

The US reported a record over the weekend with more than 4 million Covid-19 vaccine doses administered in 24 hours and the country now averages more than 3 million doses daily, according to CDC data. We will continue to work with our community partners to administer vaccine to all eligible residents. We are scheduling large clinics in the coming weeks as those qualified to receive the vaccine expands. If you are in Phase 1a (all groups) or Phase 1b – Groups 1-7, a vaccine is available for you. The first clinic will be on Saturday April 10th at the Hood River County Fairgrounds, 3020 Wy’East Road Odell. The scheduling tool is available and will be open until the clinic is full.   Visit HRCCovid19.org for information on eligibility and where to receive a vaccine.   Vaccinations are available through the Hood River County Health Department, some primary care providers, and Safeway, Wal-Mart and Walgreens pharmacies. If you do not have internet access please call the vaccination phone line at 541.387.6911 to schedule a COVID-19 vaccination appointment with the Hood River County Health Department. Please, only make one appointment. If you cannot use your appointment please cancel it so the dose that was saved for you can be distributed to someone else! This will help us greatly to insure that no dose is wasted!

Local testing is available on Tuesday April 6th, 2021 at the River Of Live Assembly, in Hood River. Register and select your appointment time at: www.doineedacovid19test.com.