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The first mass vaccination of the just-approved kids' COVID-19 vaccine took place in Sellwood -- at Oaks Park

DAVID F. ASHTON - With the Oaks Amusement Park Adrenaline Peak roller coaster in the background, another family signs in at this pediatric mass COVID-19 vaccination drive-through clinic, put on by the Sellwood Medical Clinic. Although historic, non-profit Oaks Amusement Park had just closed for the season, their southern gate was open and large canopies were set up in the parking lot, November 5th through 7th.

This was the setting for the first "pediatric mass COVID-19 vaccination drive-through clinic" to be held in our area.

"We at Sellwood Medical Clinic are super excited to offer this to our community," said their CEO, Lisa Whitlock, at the event. "Oaks Park has been a phenomenal partner in facilitating our ability to provide this service.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Proudly showing off their adhesive bandages like medals of courage are Kennedy Cruse and Cameron Cruse while their calm pooch, Jackie, looks on bemused. "The idea to do this came up because we have a large pediatric population that we serve," Whitlock told THE BEE on the first day of the drive-by vaccinations. "We were looking for ways of serving more people and families than we could possibly do in our own back parking lot; so I reached out to Oaks Amusement Park, and they responded, 'yes, absolutely' to our request."

Their allocations of the newly-approved pediatric COVID-19 vaccine, via the State of Oregon, were minimal, Whitlock conceded; but with their allotment the drive-through clinic gave 1,200 shots to kids over the three days.

'Sold-out' in minutes

DAVID F. ASHTON - A bit of concern shows on the face of Cooper Sabom, but he takes his injection without incident from a clinic manager Jody Varn. Being set up to give about 25 shots every 20 minutes, they first opened slots for appointments for Friday, November 5; those were snatched up in minutes. They waited a few minutes before opening more appointment availabilities for Saturday and Sunday. "Amazingly, all 1,200 spots filled in less than 45 minutes!" Whitlock exclaimed.

"This is important from a medical standpoint, because the more kids – ages five through 11 – that we can get vaccinated, the more we can lower the overall cases, and lower the severity of the illness that's being seen," chimed in the clinic's co-owner, pediatrician Monique Pritchard, MD.

DAVID F. ASHTON - Theyre having this clinic as a service to their community, explained Sellwood Medical Clinics co-owners - Monique Pritchard, MD, and CEO Lisa Whitlock. "We want to see all kids back in school, and staying in school, without so much worry about exposure, because they've been vaccinated."

Overall, most of the kids bravely took the poke, and then their parents drove off into the "waiting lot" for a few minutes, to be checked out and sent on their way.

To learn more about the Sellwood Medical Clinic, and to check to see if more such drive-by vaccine clinic opportunities will become available, check their website – www.sellwoodmd.com


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