Sadly, we are reporting the 47th death in Wasco County due to COVID-19. The person tested positive Oct. 1 and died Nov. 2 at Providence St. Vincent Medical Center in Portland.
Each death represents the loss of an irreplaceable family member, and our hearts go out to all who have been affected by the loss of a loved one, or the serious debilitation of a loved one, due to COVID.
Some who are vaccinated are still unable to fend off the disease, and succumb to it. They tend to be older, with 80 percent of vaccinated deaths in Oregon occurring in those over age 70. That is believed to be due to factors including weakened immune systems in the elderly, and waning vaccine effectiveness over time. This waning effectiveness is behind the strong recommendation for booster doses for everyone 16 and older.
Of the 233 people who died of COVID in Oregon in November, 50 were vaccinated. We acknowledge that the vaccines are not 100 percent effective against death. But it is important to also recognize that the significant majority of deaths last month– 78.5%, or nearly 4 out of every five 5 deaths — were in the unvaccinated.
By far, the best tool against COVID remains the vaccine. Vaccinations efforts have picked up substantially in recent weeks, especially given concerns about the new Omicron variant, which is yet to be detected in Oregon.
To date, at least 31,284 doses have been administered in Wasco, Sherman and Gilliam counties, which represent the service area of North Central Public Health District (NCPHD).
For the week ending Dec. 3:
- NCPHD gave 174 doses; for 19,062 total
- Mid-Columbia Medical Center gave 143 doses, for 2,530 total
- One Community Health gave 187 doses, for 4,388 total
- Deschutes Rim Clinic gave 40 doses, for 795 total.
To book a first, second, third or booster dose with NCPHD, visit https://www.ncphd.org/book-vaccine or call us at 541-506-2600. We offer all three vaccines. We do not offer pediatric doses to ages 5-11. For those, please see your doctor. One Community Health has vaccine clinics for the public on Wednesdays. Book with them online, or call them at 541-296-4610. All local pharmacies also offer vaccines, and all but Safeway offer pediatric vaccine. Book online for appointments.