Deschutes County Public Health held a vaccine clinic outside the Bend-La Pine School District building Wednesday.
State health officials are calling for improvements in the state’s current vaccination rate of nearly 73%.
“We’ve seen an increase in our vaccination rate already, both nationally and at a local level,” said Deschutes County Public Health Vaccine Operations Supervisor Crystal Sully. “Our two clinics at Sisters in La Pine that we already had this week, we have seen a 300% jump in the number of vaccines that we’ve delivered.”
As soon as the vaccine clinic in Bend opened, a line was formed.
“This is a different set of people, a different population than we were immunizing at the mass vaccination clinic,” Sully said. “These are folks that have had questions and had trouble getting their questions answered to their satisfaction.”
Some who were waiting decided now to get their first shot.
“I live in a divided household,” said Cynthia Lewis, of Tillamook. “I have kids, 40-year-old kids that say don’t do it, it’s not proven yet, it’s not approved yet, it’s just a emergency and they don’t know really, what it going to happen and then I have an 83-year-old mother that says you need to go get that and you need to get it done, so it’s taken me a while to decide.”
In Deschutes County, more than 72% of the eligible population is vaccinated, right in line with the overall state average.
“With the, seems to be exploding cases, I’ve decided to go ahead and do it,” Lewis said about getting the vaccine.
Oregon reported more than 2,300 new COVID cases on Tuesday, a record one-day total.
Others were getting there to get their second dose.
“They are getting ready to start school,” said Spencer Paulson about his two sons. “I am a big believer in the vaccine, I worked in the COVID unit at work for three months. I’ve seen what COVID does to people who don’t get the vaccine.”
All different ages were at the clinic.
“I hate wearing masks and I want to protect my grandma; she comes and visits all the time and I want to see my new nephew who just came out,” said 14-year-old Beau Mahaney, of Bend.
Local health officials are also pushing for a higher vaccination rate.
“What we know to be true about COVID and the Delta variant in specific, is our two best defenses are vaccination and mask-wearing, particularly in crowded indoor spaces where we don’t know the vaccination status of the people around us,” Sully said.