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Health and Medicine

Vaccine Clinics Open In Southern Oregon And Northern California

A driver gets a COVID-19 vaccine at a drive-through vaccination event at the Jackson County Expo on Jan. 21.

Vaccination clinics for the coronavirus are beginning to open in communities around Southern Oregon and Northern California. However, the criteria vary for who can get vaccinated now.

Thursday marked the start of Jackson County’s vaccine clinic at the Jackson County Expo. According to county staff, the event exceeded their goal of vaccinations.

“We vaccinated roughly between 2,500 and 3,000 people today,” says Tanya Phillips with Jackson County. “Our goal was 2,000. So, we did very well. The event was very efficient.”

Phillips says they received extra Pfizer coronavirus vaccine from the Providence hospital system and the increased vaccinations will not detract from required second doses.

Those who can currently be vaccinated in Oregon include people who work in health care settings and staff at long-term care facilities. Childcare providers, early learning staff and educators at K-12 schools are also eligible, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s vaccination plan.

Phillips says they do not have permission to vaccinate the general public, including people 65 and older if they are not in the eligible groups.

“We are turning people away if they are not in those groups,” Phillips says.

The Oregon Health Authority’s vaccination guidelines states that people in the general public who are 80-years-old and older will be eligible for vaccination starting Feb. 8, after which a tiered age eligibility will begin.

The clinic in Jackson County runs through Saturday and is being organized by the Asante health system. Then, Asante is moving it to the Josephine County Fairgrounds to hold another vaccination event on Sunday and Monday. Eligible individuals can register on the Asante website.

Just across the border in California, a similar vaccine clinic is happening at the Siskiyou County Fairgrounds on Friday. Health officials there are vaccinating a broader group including people 65 and older and food and agriculture workers. That’s in addition to educators, people who work in health care and staff of long-term care facilities.

But, while that clinic is vaccinating a broader group, you have to live or work in Siskiyou County to be eligible. Registration paperwork can be accessed on the Siskiyou County public health website.