Washington data bolsters Columbia County vaccination rate
Columbia County's COVID-19 vaccination rate should get a bump of about 4 percentage points, thanks to vaccines administered in Washington state.
At least 1,866 Columbia County residents had received at least one shot in Washington as of June 2, according to data from Washington's immunization tracking system, a Washington state department of health spokesperson said.
In Oregon's data reports, doses are counted by the county where the recipient lives, rather than where the shot was given.
But the Oregon Health Authority has only published in-state data, even though people can travel to other states to get vaccinated. That means that a Columbia County resident who got vaccinated at the Oregon Convention Center in Portland counts toward the county's rate, but someone who traveled across the river to get vaccinated in Longview, Washington, would not.
In Columbia County, 47.5% of residents age 16 and older have been vaccinated in the state as of June 7.
With the Washington data, that goes up to an estimated 51.7%. (The Washington data includes vaccinations of 12- to 15-year-olds, so 51.7% is accurate if Washington has vaccinated a similar proportion among ages 12-15 as Columbia County.)
Once 65% of residents age 16 and older are vaccinated, the county will move to the "lower risk" category, regardless of case counts.
That will require vaccinating more than 5,800 additional residents.
All of Columbia County's neighbors have vaccination rates above 60% for ages 16 and older, even without counting any out-of-state vaccinations.
In Clatsop County, 61% of residents 16 and older are vaccinated; 69% in Multnomah County; 70% in Washington County; and 62% in Tillamook County.
Once Oregon reaches 70% of adults (age 18 and older) vaccinated, most COVID restrictions will be lifted statewide, including mask mandates in most settings.
As of June 3, 66.2% of Oregonians age 18 and older had been vaccinated.
It took weeks for Columbia County public health officials to get Washington state vaccination data from the Oregon Health Authority.
Columbia County Public Health Director Michael Paul said that on June 3, he was told that 3,678 vaccine doses had been administered to Columbia County residents in Washington, but did not know how many people that would be. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is one dose, while Pfizer and Moderna are each two doses. Individuals who have only received one dose of Pfizer or Moderna still count toward the vaccination rate.
The data provided to the Spotlight by the Washington health department refers to individuals vaccinated, not total number of doses.
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