ENTERPRISE — Wallowa Memorial Hospital and Medical Clinic will be hosting two walk-in clinics — one Friday, May 14, in Joseph, and one Monday, May 24, in Wallowa — for individuals who want a COVID-19 vaccine.
These will be the first walk-in COVID vaccine clinics put on by the hospital since the vaccine first came to the county in December 2020, WMH Communications Director Brooke Pace said.
The first will be held May 14 at the Wallowa Memorial Medical Clinic in Joseph from 9 a.m. to noon. The second will be at the WMMC in Wallowa May 24, also from 9 a.m. to noon. Both the two-shot Moderna vaccine and the one-shot option from Johnson & Johnson will be available.
“Anyone interested in receiving a vaccine can walk in at that time,” Pace said.
Pace said as of May 6, 2,083 individuals had completed their vaccine series through WMH, and an additional 40 had received the first shot.
“If people have questions (about a vaccine), contact their primary care providers,” Pace said. “We have reached the point where our supply is greater than the demand. We are encouraging people who have waited their turn in line to step up.”
The number of people getting vaccinated in Wallowa County continues to increase, even if it is at a slower rate.
But there still are plenty of individuals seeking the vaccine, Pace said.
“We are continuing to see people trickle in in terms of people who want it. I think that as more people get it and the longer the vaccinations have been happening, the people who were on the fence and see their friends and family members receive it, and not see any side effects, they are taking the vaccine,” she said.
According to data from the Oregon Health Authority, Wallowa County is in the upper third of the state when it comes to the percentage of residents who have received a vaccine. As of May 10, the county vaccination rate was 41.8%, according to OHA.
That number is below the state average of 46.5%, but is the 12th-highest rate in Oregon. Benton County, at 56.7%, has the highest rate. Umatilla County has the lowest rate at 24.8%.
That means of the 7,160 people in the county, per OHA data, about 2,992 people have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine, and 37.1%, or about 2,656, have been fully vaccinated. In terms of full vaccination, Wallowa County is seventh in the state, and is ahead of the state average of 34.4%.
In terms of those eligible for vaccine — which, currently, is anyone 16 and older — the county is 13th in Oregon at 50.7%, and 45% of the nearly 5,900 people in that age range have been fully vaccinated. The completed rate among those eligible is the fifth-highest in the state.
The number of new cases in Wallowa County seems to have leveled off after a jump that led to the closure of Wallowa High School for two weeks.
The school was scheduled to reopen May 12.
The number of total cases in the county, as of May 10, was 182. Sixteen of those fell between April 27 and May 3, and at one point there were 20 cases in a 10-day span. But there have been just six new cases since May 3.