As the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process continues to evolve, it is important to me that you continue to receive accurate and up-to-date information.
Please know that while St. Charles is helping in every way we can to distribute vaccines to our Central Oregon communities – we are partners in the process and are only one piece of a much larger puzzle.
Vaccine distribution starts at the national level. The federal government decides how many vaccines each state will receive each week. In Oregon, we have been receiving about 100,000 doses per week of first and second doses for the entire state.
From there, the Oregon Health Authority decides how many vaccines to send to approved vaccine distribution sites throughout the state. Those sites include county health departments, hospitals, primary care clinics, pharmacies and other health care providers who have gone through a state application process.
At the local level, we are following the state’s guidance on groups of people who are eligible to receive the vaccine. Our three Central Oregon counties were able to quickly vaccinate the majority of those in the first phases and moved ahead of the state’s schedule for a period of time. Now that we are receiving a smaller number of first doses from the state, we have had to slow down our distribution. This week, Deschutes County received only 1,200 first doses and made the decision to distribute those doses mostly to primary care providers for administration to their patients in the senior population who are eligible. Jefferson and Crook counties also received a small number of doses that they are handling through their clinics.
It remains our hope that we will receive another large allotment of vaccine so we can continue our large-scale vaccination efforts at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center in the coming weeks. The Oregon Health Authority is working on a new vaccine allocation plan and we expect to receive those details early next week.
For now, the best thing you can do is register at https://vaccine.deschutes.org to be notified when you are eligible and to receive regular updates.
We greatly appreciate your patience as we continue to do our best to vaccinate our population as quickly as possible.