‘Until the need isn't there anymore’

Lane County, partners provide drive-thru vaccine clinic

July 17, 2021 — On July 10, Lane County Public Health held its second drive-through vaccine clinic at Siuslaw Middle School. The first was held in June.

According to officials from Lane County Public Health’s COVID-19 Mobile Vaccine Team, 13 people were vaccinated that day. As of July 15, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) recorded 10,170 people in the Florence area who have had at least one vaccine shot thus far. 

Around 12 volunteers from a cohort of organizations and Lane County Search and Rescue gathered to help make it happen. 

The drive-through vaccine clinic is targeted to all communities along the Oregon Coast and is a state-wide event, according to Nancy Berge with The Arc Lane County’s Families Connected.

The agencies in Lane County who helped organize and volunteer at the clinic included the Autism Society of Oregon, Oregon Family Support Network, Early Childhood CARES, The Arc and Families Connected. 

The drive-through clinic will proceed every three weeks “until the need isn't there anymore,” said Berge. 

The following event will be at the end of the month on Saturday, July 31, from 11 to 2 p.m., again at Siuslaw Middle School, 2525 Oak St.

Berge said the drive-through system was intentional to accommodate mobility and behavioral circumstances, allowing all people the opportunity to get vaccinated from inside their vehicles. Further, a Latinx Spanish speaker was present at the clinic for translation. 

“The premise of creating this event was to reach rural as well as marginalized communities in the coastal area,” Berge said. “Families can then access and eliminate any barriers they may have.” 

The COVID-19 Mobile Vaccine Team said the vaccines available at the clinics are the Johnson & Johnson single-dose and Pfizer, which requires a second shot. 

All ages over 12 are eligible with walk-ins welcome and pre-registration is not required. Lane County Public Health provides the vaccine regardless of immigration or insurance status.

Other clinics in the Lane County region continue to offer COVID-19 vaccines. To schedule an appointment, visit lanecounty.org/vaxclinics. 

For more information on the next Florence clinic, contact Berge at [email protected] or 541-606-9061.

On Thursday, OHA announced that it had established an 80% vaccination goal in the state to close the equity gap.

While Oregon hit its target of 70% of adults vacated in early July, vaccination rates for Hispanic/Latino/a/x, American Indian/Alaska Native and Black/African American/African Immigrant communities are still hovering in the mid-40% range. To close the equity gap for communities of color, OHA is recommitting and focusing on increasing vaccination access through a vaccination equity strategy aimed at achieving a goal of vaccinating 80% of adults of color by the end of this summer. OHA is also committed to vaccinating 80% of all adults in coming months.

“This is about doing everything we possibly can to meet that goal for our communities of color. There is potential to meet this goal by the end of August in some communities, and OHA and its partners will keep pushing until we can say that we have provided every Oregonian with the information they need about vaccines and an opportunity to get vaccinated,” said Erica Sandoval, Equity Director, Oregon Health Authority COVID-19 Response & Recovery Unit.

OHA is supporting both rural and urban areas where efforts would have a high impact on communities of color.

As of July 15, 2,438,195 people in Oregon have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and 2,242,125 people have completed a COVID-19 vaccine series.

© 2021-Siuslaw News


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