ENTERPRISE — Around a quarter of Wallowa County has received a vaccine against COVID-19 through Wallowa Memorial Hospital, according to the latest numbers from WMH Communications Director Brooke Pace.
And the speed with which vaccines are being doled out has allowed the county to get further down the waitlist.
“We have been able to move into Group 7, the essential workers and people under 45 (with underlying conditions),” Pace said.
At WMH’s most recent clinic on Tuesday, March 16, it gave out about 450 doses of the vaccine. Of that, 205 were first doses of the Moderna vaccines, 145 were second doses and 100 were the new one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
“Some of those people were in the age sequencing that had passed up to this date (on getting vaccinated),” Pace said of those getting the newest vaccine. “I would say half of the Johnson & Johnson are being given out to those currently eligible in Group 6 and 7.”
Those qualified in Group 6 include those between 45-64 years old with one or more health conditions that puts them at increased risk, according to guidance from Oregon Health Authority. It also includes migrant and seasonal farm workers, seafood and agricultural workers, those working in food processing, homeless, people in low-income senior housing, wildland firefighters, those displaced by wildfires, and pregnant women age 16 and older.
Group 7 is frontline workers, multi-generational household members and anyone between 16-44 with one or more underlying condition.
“We have worked through Phase 1A, age sequencing, (and) Phase 1B Group 6,” Pace said.
As of Monday, March 15, Pace said there were fewer than 50 people on the Group 7 waitlist. That could be due to people in that range not wanting the vaccine, “or,” Pace said, “they don’t know they are eligible yet.”
Currently, 1,702 individuals have received at least one dose of the Moderna vaccine through WMH and 1,152 have had both shots. One hundred people have had the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Pace said there are not expected to be any new first doses arriving this week.
“Only doses we’ll be getting this week are second doses,” she said. “Our understanding is we won’t be getting primary doses this week. The week of the 22nd, we would not be hosting a first-dose clinic,” if that plays out, she said.
She also said she’s unsure of when the hospital will get more Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
Those who want to get on the WMH waitlist are encouraged to call 541-426-5437.
The county has gone more than a week without any new cases reported by the OHA, and through Monday, March 15, remains at 144 cases of COVID-19 and five deaths related to the disease.
“That has taken a really positive nose dive,” Pace said. “We had a few weeks with all the positives and now it’s gone back down.”