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Vaccine eligibility expanded Monday

Jackson County residents between the ages of 45 and 64 with at least one underlying health condition became eligible for a COVID-19 vaccination Monday as Jackson County Public Health prepared to build toward a goal of 3,000 to 4,000 shots a week at a new vaccination clinic.

Public health officials moved the clinic from its main base of operations, 140 S. Holly St., Medford, to Padgham Pavilion at the Jackson County Expo, 1 Peninger Road, Central Point, earlier this month after a waterline break.

“With the flood that happened in the building, instead of having to close, all of those appointments, we just rerouted them to The Expo,” said Tanya Phillips, Jackson County Public Health health promotion manager.

Clinic officials hope to start the new initiative with a “soft launch,” with the goal of 1,200 shots this week, Phillips said. From there, officials hope to build to at least 3,000 shots per week.

Those newly eligible for vaccination this week include:

  • Adults 45 to 64 with one or more underlying health conditions
  • Migrant and seasonal farm workers
  • Seafood, agricultural and food-processing workers
  • People living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living
  • Homeless people
  • People displaced by wildfires
  • Wildland firefighters
  • Those who are pregnant who are 16 and older

Vaccines are also being administered at several local pharmacies in Jackson County.

The new Expo operation is being called a “walk-through clinic,” not a drive-thru vaccination site like the one held in February that administered more than 6,200 second vaccinations of the Pfizer vaccine.

“It’s a much smaller scale,” Phillips said.

To make an appointment at he clinic, go to the Jackson County Health & Human Services COVID-19 vaccine website, https://jacksoncountyor.org/hhs/COVID-19/Community-Resources/jackson-county-public-health-covid-19-vaccine-appointments.

Anyone who is eligible to be vaccinated can receive a Moderna dose at the site, public health officials said. Participants should bring their vaccine screening and consent form, which is available on the county vaccination website.

Those who make appointments are asked to enter The Expo at Gate 2, park and walk up, Phillips said. Second vaccinations should be similarly scheduled. The clinic will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.

On Monday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 217 new cases of COVID-19 statewide, raising the state’s cumulative total to 164,164. The agency reported no new deaths from the illness, keeping the state’s COVID-19 death toll at 2,375.

Jackson County reported 10 new cases of the illness Monday, increasing the county-wide total to 9,159.

Josephine County reported seven new cases Monday, raising its total to 2,766.

There have been 120 deaths from the illness in Jackson County, and 60 in Josephine County.

On Monday, 142 Oregonians were hospitalized with the illness, one fewer than Sunday, with 36 people in intensive care, four more than Sunday.

Twenty-six people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Jackson and Josephine counties Monday, five more than Sunday, with seven in ICU, four more than Sunday.

As of Monday, 653,063 Oregonians were considered fully vaccinated against the disease, and 463,176 others had received one shot in a two-dose regimen.

In Jackson County, 29,085 people were fully vaccinated, and19,559 people had received one dose.

In Josephine County, 9,897 people were fully vaccinated, and 9,763 had received one dose.

Reach Mail Tribune web editor Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on Twitter at @ryanpfeil.