LINCOLN COUNTY — On Tuesday afternoon, the Oregon Health Authority told Lincoln County Public Health that the COVID-19 vaccine doses the county expected this week would not arrive in time for scheduled clinics.
The health department already anticipated it might have to reschedule Tuesday’s first-dose clinics for people 75 and older after it was notified on Feb. 11 that the Presidents Day holiday would delay its vaccine shipment. “These vaccine shipments are shipped directly from the federal distribution program, and delivery is dependent upon their schedule,” the health department said in a release last week.
It also learned it would only receive 500 prime (first) doses, 400 fewer than anticipated. Last week, the county received 900 prime doses and was told to expect the same number this week.
On Tuesday, OHA told public health its 1,200 dose allotment (including 700 second doses) had still not shipped from distribution hubs in Kentucky and Tennessee due to the severe winter weather that has impacted much of the country.
The health department rescheduled Tuesday’s prime dose clinic at the fairgrounds in Newport for Feb. 23, and clinics for first doses scheduled Tuesday and Thursday at the St. Clair Fire Station in Taft will now be held Feb. 23 and Feb. 24. Second dose clinics scheduled Thursday at the fairgrounds and Friday in Lincoln City will now be held on Feb. 24 and 25. All appointment times are the same.
Two second-dose clinics, Wednesday in Newport and Thursday in Lincoln City, were held as scheduled with contributions from Samaritan Health Services and stored vaccine from last week’s allotment.
About 50 people scheduled for Tuesday’s prime-dose clinic in Newport were worked in at a Feb. 11 clinic, thanks to a few no shows and some vials with extra doses. The health department said it will contact others with appointments at rescheduled clinics.
As of Thursday, 6,576 people in the county have been vaccinated, 2,827 of them with a second dose. That’s more than 13 percent of Lincoln County’s population and more than one-fifth the number of county residents public health expects will receive the vaccine. The county ranks eighth in the state in terms of the percentage of vaccinated residents.
According to a report prepared for Tuesday’s Lincoln County Board of Commissioners meeting, public health was notified by the Oregon Health Authority that it would begin sending 1,200 prime doses to Lincoln County each week beginning on Feb. 22, with 900 going to the health department and 300 to Lincoln Community Health Center.
The report noted that local pharmacies, including Safeway, have begun to receive vaccine doses, and that those and the doses received by Siletz Community Health Clinic are not counted in the county’s allotment.