By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Despite historic winter weather across the country causing shipment delays and forcing mass vaccination sites to reschedule appointments, Oregon health officials said Friday that the state’s vaccination timeline is still on schedule.
While more than 10,000 vaccine appointments were canceled last week, beginning Monday people 70 and older will be eligible to receive doses of vaccine and people 65 and older will be eligible March 1.
During the past week, Oregon averaged more than 14,000 vaccinations per day.
As of Thursday, 12% of the state’s population has been vaccinated with first doses and 5% of residents have been fully vaccinated.
The inclement weather has delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccines across the nation – including doses Deschutes County expected for appointments scheduled on Sunday and first-dose appointments for the week of Feb. 22.
Appointments scheduled for Sunday are being rescheduled for the same time on Thursday, Feb. 25.
Patients will be notified through their St. Charles MyChart account and/or email about the appointment change. Staff will be working to call those without either a St. Charles MyChart or email.
If patients are unable to attend the new appointment time, they can call (541) 699-5109. Staff is available to assist callers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Due to high call volumes, callers may experience delays.
“When we became aware of shipping delays, we moved quickly to try and secure as many vaccine doses as we could on loan,” said Molly Wells-Darling, Deschutes County Incident Management Team Deputy Incident Commander. “We’re so thankful that Legacy Health System was able to loan us 1,700 doses to support appointments on Friday and Saturday, but unfortunately, the doses that we expected to arrive for Sunday’s clinic continue to be delayed.”
Oregon Health Authority has allocated 3,140 first-dose vaccines to Deschutes County for the week beginning Feb. 22.
Darlene Knox was one of the lucky ones who got her second dose Friday before the vaccination supply ran out.
“We are so happy to have our second one,” Knox said. “It feels like maybe now we get to see some friends or family we weren’t able to before and kind of start toward that normalcy down the road, maybe.”
No new first-dose vaccine appointments will be scheduled until the County receives an update on an estimated vaccine delivery date.
When appointment availability reopens, Deschutes County expects to begin scheduling appointments for adults ages 70 and older.