Salem Health began a Covid vaccine clinic at the state fairgrounds on Jan. 7 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
After vaccinating more than 8,000 people in four days, Salem Health is canceling its Monday Covid vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fairgrounds due to low vaccine supply.
The health provider expects to receive a vaccine shipment Tuesday and plans to resume the fairgrounds clinic then, Salem Health spokesman Michael Gay said. The health provider did not announce a planned time for resuming vaccination.
"Hours will vary until vaccine supply is more predictable," Gay said in an email.
Vaccines are still available Monday to people living or working in Polk County at West Valley Hospital in Dallas from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Most Oregonians are not yet able to receive the vaccine. Currently, vaccination is available to health care workers, a broad category that includes dentists, mental health therapists, midwives, hospital janitors and medical transport drivers. First responders, including corrections employees, firefighters, paramedics and law enforcement are also eligible. So are residents and employees of long-term care facilities.
A full list of those included is available starting on page 5 of this Oregon Health Authority document.
Salem Health began its clinic last week, one of the only Oregon hospitals to open a wide-scale vaccination clinic after vaccinating many of its own employees in December.
Gov. Kate Brown praised the effort in a news conference last week, saying she would deploy the Oregon National Guard to assist Salem Health.
Oregon Health Authority Director Pat Allen said Friday the state would prioritize allocating vaccines to providers with plans to use the doses within seven days. Allen said the state would reallocate 10,000 vaccine doses to Salem Health from other providers who were not using them quickly enough.
The announcements came after state officials were criticized for Oregon's slow vaccine rollout. As of Jan. 8, three-quarters of vaccine doses received in Oregon were still unused, according to data from the Centers fo Disease Control and Prevention.
Brown last week set a goal of Oregon administering 12,000 vaccine doses daily by Jan. 17. The state administered a record 9,985 doses Saturday, Jan.9, according to OHA data.
Gay said Salem Health plans to continue operating its vaccine center "until the entire state is vaccinated."
"The fairground model was able to vaccinate 410 people per hour, and is scalable with additional human resources and vaccine. The Salem Health model shows an effective and efficient way to vaccinate on a large scale and grow immunity in our community," he said in an email.
Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.
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