County health department progresses in goal to get vaccinations in arms
The Yamhill County Public Health Department is preparing for what could be a significant uptick in the number of COVID-19 vaccine doses as early as this week.
In a release from the department last week, county Health and Human Services Director Lindsey Manfrin said the county has the capacity to deliver more than 10,000 vaccines per week, either directly through the public health department, via primary care providers or at pharmacies.
Last week the department was expected to receive 4,480 first doses of the vaccine, 2,570 which were distributed via public health, 700 at primary care providers' offices and 1,210 at pharmacies. Some of the public health department's doses were slated to be sent to primary care providers for administration as well, the release said.
The county announced last week that it is transitioning to a new vaccine registration system, Get Vaccinated Oregon, a process that tells individuals if they are eligible to receive a vaccine, allows them to register even if they are not currently eligible, signs them up to receive vaccine eligibility updates, helps them create an account and find a vaccination provider and alerts individuals by email, text or by phone when new vaccine clinics open and provides instruction on how to schedule a visit.
"Yamhill County will be using this tool to replace the existing registration process," the release said. "Unfortunately, the system does not allow us to transfer people currently on our registration list, so those who have not already been vaccinated or are not scheduled for a vaccine will need to register with the state tool even if they have already registered with us."
The website for Get Vaccinated Oregon is at getvaccinated.oregon.gov/#/.
Manfrin said partnerships with outside agencies and organizations have continued to flourish "in an effort to get vaccine to those who are not able to access it through large events."
"We are so grateful for the partnerships we have with organizations such as UNIDOS, YCAP and Northwest Senior and Disability Services, who are directly connecting with people to assure no one is left behind in vaccination efforts," she said.
That collaboration has extended to the Oregon Health Authority, which has joined the county in assessing what percentage of county residents have been vaccinated. As of March 15, the release said, 55.14% of individuals 65 and older have been vaccinated in the county; the state average is 53.69% for counties. The figures do not account for folks who have been vaccinated through the Veterans Administration but who hadn't shared its data with the county as of last week. Manfrin said she suspects, due to "data lag," that roughly an additional 2,000 people have been vaccinated in the county but not accounted for in the latest figures.
The county has also partnered with Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue, McMinnville Fire Department, Providence Medical Group, West Valley Fire District, Sunrise Family Clinic, Willamette Valley Medical Center and Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center to stage vaccination clinics.
"These clinics allow a greater number of eligible individuals to get vaccinated each week," the release said.
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