Volunteers from Clackamas Fire, the Community Emergency Response Team and University of Portland nursing students helped Clackamas County's public health division adminster 1,500 COVID-19 vaccinations at the Clackamas Town Center mall on Friday, March 26.
The event was the first in a two-day pop-up event at the shopping center where the county is using a parking garage to usher through 3,000 residents this week who are eligible for the shot under the guidelines from Gov. Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority.
Clackamas County's effort was part of a larger push to offer vaccinations locally rather than sending Clackamas residents to mass vaccination sites at the Portland International Airport or Oregon Convention Center near downtown Portland.
Sites are also scheduled to open this weekend at Sandy High School and next week at Clackamas Community College's Wilsonville campus, the Clackamas County Fairgrounds in Canby and Molalla High School. All appointments for the upcoming vaccination events have been filled.
According to volunteers with Clackamas Fire, Friday morning began a bit chaotically, with many people showing up well before their scheduled appointments, which led to a long line snaking through the mall parking lot before entering the parking garage at 12000 S.E. 85th Ave. By 11 a.m. the line had thinned and volunteers were hitting their stride.
Several of those in line reported waiting a little under an hour from start to finish.
Clackamas County Public Information Officer Kimberly Dinwiddie said that the county and its volunteers hoped to perfect the process over the course of the day Friday and will begin again Saturday with few hiccups and more floors of the parking garage used to distribute an additional 2,000 vaccines.
Dinwiddie said the county is asking those with appointments to be vaccinated Saturday only show up 15 minutes early to their appointment to cut down on traffic and wait times.
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