Tuesday marked the one year anniversary of the national introduction to the COVID-19 vaccine amidst a raging pandemic.
At the Deschutes County Fair and Expo Center, around 250-300 people per day visit the free COVID-19 vaccine clinic.
“We believe the vaccines are working and doing what they are,” said Amie Brown, a Bend resident at the mass clinic.
Up to the entrance of the large arena building, cars snake a line through the back entrance, each pulling in to receive their dose.
“It’s part of the community we live in to help us stay healthy, and for us to not be using resources that other people may need medically,” Brown said.
Currently, more than 138,800 people in Deschutes County have received a COVID-19 vaccine.
From the more than 300,000 doses administered in the county, 211,897 people received the Pfizer shot, 85,923 received the Moderna vaccine and 9,173 received the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot.
Statewide, more than 6 million doses have been administered over the last 12 months.
The demand for booster shots is pushing the numbers even higher.
“So, we certainly have a spike in demand for booster shots especially with the eligible age groups continuing to increase,” said Emily Freeland, the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Supervisor for Deschutes County.
After doing their own research on the vaccine, Amie Brown and her husband drove to the fairground clinic to get their booster shots, and get their daughter her second dose.
They told me they hope people take this personal decision seriously, and study up on the benefits the vaccine and boosters offer.
“They’re not reinventing the wheel. The wheel is there. They’re just making it better and better and better each time,” Brown said.
“Clearly, we still have a long ways to go, and we’re happy that we can be here today where boosters are available and people can continue to protect themselves against COVID-19,” Freeland said.
“I felt like there was a lot of good information that made me and all of my family feel good about getting it,” Brown said.