COVID vaccinations to be administered to seniors, school staff

By Kelly Kenoyer
Lebanon Local

Gov. Kate Brown announced on Jan. 12 that new categories of people will be permitted COVID-19 vaccinations starting on Jan. 23.
The categories include all individuals 65 years or older and all child care providers and education staff for K-12. The move comes as Oregon is set to receive additional vaccine shipments from the federal government.
“The Oregon Health Authority and the Oregon National Guard have already begun working with hospitals, pharmacies, and local public health partners to ensure Oregon seniors and educators have ready access to a vaccine,” Brown said in a statement.
“Today’s news arrived with no advance notice from the federal government. Oregon health care providers are working as fast as humanly possible to shift their vaccine distribution plans to meet this sudden change in national guidance.”
Members of the Lebanon Fire District and Lebanon Police Department received their first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Jan. 6. Administered by Linn County Public Health, the vaccinations were the first in the series of two shots that will provide crucial protection to frontline emergency workers, LFD said in a statement.
“We are often the first healthcare providers that COVID positive patients see,” said Fire Chief Joseph Rodondi. “Oftentimes, we will go out on a call and not find out for several days afterwards if the patient was positive or not. This vaccine, along with our required personal protective equipment, will be crucial to keeping our emergency service workers healthy and able to respond to emergencies. We are very excited to be able to protect our employees, and by doing so protect our citizens of the district.”
First responders will get their next dose in early February, four weeks after the initial shot.
Linn County Health Spokesperson Michelle Duncan said there will be a vaccination hub at the Linn County Fairgrounds in coming weeks to start vaccinating broader categories of people.
“It will be a partnership with Samaritan Health Services at the Linn County Fairgrounds. People should check the Linn County Health Department website for more information.”
The correct link for COVID vaccine information is here: linncountyhealth.org/ph/page/covid-19-vaccines-information
The “mass vaccination clinics” at the fairgrounds are set to start the week of Jan. 18, she said, and will require appointments.
Lebanon School District Supt. Bo Yates said he would “love” to vaccinate staff ahead of in-person instruction in February, but “nothing is ever as advertised.”
Yates said he’s working with Linn County Health to “be the first in line” for the vaccines.