EUGENE, Ore. -- After receiving a record high allocation of doses, Lane County Public Health's website currently shows thousands of open appointment slots.
Lane County's Incident Commander, Steve Adams, said there's no reason to be concerned about these slots being left open. Some of the doses will be given to people who walk in without appointments, and the leftover doses will be saved and used for future clinics, Adams said.
"As we move forward, we anticipate that many of the reservations as we go into a clinic won't certainly cover the entire clinic and that creates space for people to come right in," Adams said.
Lane County Public Health is trying to reach people at more convenient times, according to Adams. He said having more supply at these clinics than daily demand for vaccines will allow those with more hectic schedules a chance to walk in and receive a dose when timing works for them.
"Because demand is not as robust as it was, we're now kind of able to spread out our level of effort over different days, different hours," Adams said.
School districts like 4J and Bethel are planning to use some of those doses for their students, spokespeople for the two districts said. But that’s only possible if the FDA grants emergency use authorization to one of the vaccines for children ages 12 to 15 in time.
4J's clinic for students between the ages of 12 and 15 is scheduled for Monday, May 17, and will be pushed back if no vaccines are approved by then. All 300 slots filled in less than 24 hours.
"If federal approval is not received for ages 12 through 15 by the time of this clinic, it will need to be rescheduled," said 4J spokesperson Kerry Delf. "But we are hoping and expecting that this will be able to move forward. We know that parents are really ready and students are really ready to get the vaccine."
Lane County residents shared mixed opinions about whether they wanted to get the shot or not.
"I'm a very healthy person," Robyn Winters said. "I live in a hotel and none of us have gotten it yet."
KEZI also spoke to Matthew Hewlitt.
"It's a step closer to getting us back to a sense of normalcy," Hewlitt said.
KEZI reached out to the Oregon Health Authority for a statement about the state's vaccination progress.
That statement said: "OHA is aware that there are open appointments at most locations where the vaccine is available. There are thousands of people being vaccinated with their first dose every day, but we are seeing some of the same trends that are happening across the country. We are working closely with all of our partners to ensure that they have the appropriate amount of vaccine to fill their booster and expected first dose appointments. We are continuing to send more vaccine to more distribution points and outpatient clinics across the state. We expect to order our full share from the federal government next week."