Salem Hospital (Caleb Wolf/Special to Salem Reporter)

Salem Health will begin vaccinating Marion County health care workers and others now eligible for the Covid vaccine Thursday at the Oregon State Fairgrounds.

The announcement comes after the Oregon Health Authority on Tuesday said they would make the vaccine more widely available to health workers and first responders who aren't part of a hospital system, as well as more residents and employees at long-term care facilities. The shift came after criticism of the state's slow rollout so far of the vaccine.

Salem Health has already received more doses than needed to vaccinate it eligible employees.

“Over the past few weeks we have quickly vaccinated our employees and medical staff in order to protect our patients and those who care for them,” said Cheryl Wolfe, Salem Health president and CEO, in a news release.

Individuals seeking vaccination will have to attest they are part of one of the groups currently allowed to be vaccinated in Oregon, the release said. They must live or work in Marion County.

They should wear a mask, and those with insurance should bring an insurance card. The vaccine itself is available free of charge from the federal government, but health care providers may charge an administration fee.

The vaccine clinic will operate at the Jackman Long Building at the Oregon State Fairgrounds, 2330 17th St NE. The clinic will be open during these hours, with ongoing hours depending on vaccine availability:

-Thursday Jan. 7 and Friday, Jan. 8 - 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

-Saturday, Jan. 9 and Sunday, Jan. 10 – 8 .m. to 5 p.m.

-Monday, Jan. 11 – 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The groups of people who can be vaccinated now include:

-Health care personnel at hospitals, urgent care clinics

-Health Care personnel and residents from skilled nursing, long term care and memory care facilities

-Tribal health programs

-EMS providers and other first responders

-Individuals who work in hospice programs; mobile crisis care and related services, and secure transport;

-Individuals working in correctional settings

-Health care personnel in outpatient settings (including dental workers), public health and early learning

-In-home care; day treatment services; death care workers

-Non-emergency medical transport

This article was updated to clarify that vaccines at the fairgrounds are available only to people living or working in Marion County.

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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