CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — The day before a drive-in coronavirus vaccination event is set to begin at the Jackson County Expo, medical officials say that it will now be expanded to include educators.
Initially, officials said that the event was for members of Phase 1a only — including healthcare workers, first responders, and both residents and staff of long-term care facilities. Now, Asante says that the first group of Phase 1b will also be able to attend.
This new group includes preschool staff, K-12 school and district staff, and childcare workers.
All eligible members of the community are strongly encouraged to visit the Asante site and have the necessary paperwork prepared ahead of time.
The drive-in event is still planned for January 21, 22, and 23 at the Jackson County Expo, and several dozen National Guard members are expected to be on-hand to help with all aspects of the initiative — from logistics to administering the vaccines.
When the event begins, people will drive up to a checkpoint to have their paperwork screened, and they will be asked to verbally verify that they are in Phase 1a or the first group of Phase 1b. They'll be vaccinated while still in their vehicles, then ushered to a waiting area for observation over a period of 15 minutes or more to ensure that there are no major allergic reactions.
Attendees will receive a form showing that they've received the first dose, along with details on how to receive a second dose in the following weeks.
The Jackson County clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on January 21, 22, and 23.
A second, similar event is being planned for Josephine County on January 24 and 25, and sign-up is available on the same Asante page. Officials hope to perform 3,000 vaccinations at this event. This will also be open to pre-K through 12th grade educators and other school staff.
Governor Kate Brown announced last week the state's adjusted timeline for expanding vaccinations beyond Phase 1a. Vaccines will be made available to educators beginning January 25 throughout the state. Seniors will be made eligible beginning February 8, starting with those 80 and older.
"Vaccination gives us hope that the pandemic will end. Still, in the meantime, we need to continue safety measures to keep the virus from spreading: Wear a mask, physically distance from others, wash your hands, avoid gatherings and stay home when you're sick," Jackson County Public Health said in a statement.
"The public health and healthcare systems in Jackson County understand how vital getting vaccinated is to protect the community's health, our loved ones and help our community in its recovery," the agency continued. "We are all committed to vaccinating as many people as we can and as fast as we can. We are collaborating on distributing the COVID-19 vaccine to increase the number of vaccinations most effectively and safely."