ROSEBURG, Ore. -- Douglas public health officials are focusing their vaccine efforts on seniors over the age of 80.
Douglas Public Health Network released a plan Friday on how they will vaccinate older adults now that those over the age of 80 are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Officials said they’ve assigned local medical facilities and pharmacies to administer the vaccine. Right now, there are 43 clinics in the county that have signed up. Seniors who want the vaccine can sign up through those organizations.
Aviva Health is one of the participating clinics. Marketing and development director Mark Tsuchiya said they are already contacting senior patients with information about how to schedule their first dose.
“There’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” he said. “It may be very, very faint, but that light exists where we’re in a position where we’re able to help our patients.”
For health care workers, essential workers and teachers, the county held mass clinics to vaccinate those groups as quickly as possible. However, public health officer Bob Dannenhoffer said they didn’t want to hold a mass vaccination clinic because the senior population is one of the most vulnerable groups when it comes to COVID-19.
“We’ve decided to make this much simpler,” he said. “People should get the vaccine where they get their regular care.”
Dannenhoffer said there are more than 7,000 seniors over age 80 in Douglas County right now. He said they’ve allocated 700 doses to seniors this week and they expect to get more in coming weeks.
However, he expects it to take time and he is hoping people remain patient.
“This is going to be a really tough time for people,” Dannenhoffer said. “They want the vaccines, I know they desperately want it, but we’re going to behind on this for a while.”