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Expo vaccination center to start offering COVID vaccine Friday for youth 12 to 15

A National Guard volunteer administers the COVID-19 vaccine at The Expo. Mail Tribune / file photo

Jackson County’s Vaccination Equity Center will start offering the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine Friday for children and teenagers ages 12 to 15, following the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization earlier this week.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control affirmed the decision, and the Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup concluded Wednesday the vaccine “is safe and effective” for the age group, according to a news release from Gov. Kate Brown.

A parent or guardian needs to be with youth ages 12 to 14 to give consent and sign necessary documents, according to a Jackson County Public Health news release. Under Oregon law, minors at least 15 years old can consent to medical treatment, including vaccinations.

The potential side effects of the Pfizer vaccine are more common in youth than they are in adults. Most vaccine recipients develop soreness at the injection site, and fatigue and headache are common, the release said. Other less common possible side effects include muscle aches, chills, joint pain, fever and vomiting.

To make an appointment at The Expo vaccination center, visit jacksoncounty.org/getvaccinated or call 211. Appointments are encouraged, but are not required.

Vaccination rates

On Thursday, the Oregon Health Authority reported 65,532 Jackson County residents had completed their vaccine series, either through the two-dose Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Another 20,579 county residents had received one shot in a two-dose series. A vaccine recipient is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after completing the series.

In Josephine County, 25,076 residents had completed their series, while 4,785 others had received one of two doses, according to OHA.

Statewide, 1,528,990 Oregonians had completed the vaccine series, while 488,954 others had received one of two doses, data show.

Deaths, new cases and hospitalizations

Jackson County reported a new COVID-19 death Thursday and reported 40 new cases of the illness. They also removed two previously reported cases from the county’s cumulative caseload.

A 54-year-old man tested positive May 1 and died May 11 at Rogue Regional Medical Center. He had underlying health conditions.

The death and new cases raised Jackson County’s COVID-19 death toll to 139, and pushed the county’s cumulative caseload to 10,862.

Jackson County Public Health also reported three new workplace outbreaks of the illness.

The agency opened an investigation May 3 into an outbreak at Camping World, the release said. So far, there have been nine cases.

Public health officials started investigating an outbreak May 3 at Empowered Life Church , with 13 cases reported so far.

The third outbreak is at Highway Products Inc., with eight cases recorded since officials opened the investigation May 5.

OHA reports workplace outbreaks when there are five or more cases at a workplace with at least 30 employees over a two-week period. All three investigations are ongoing.

OHA reported 11 new COVID-19 cases in Josephine County Thursday, raising the county’s cumulative caseload to 3,345.

OHA reported 14 new deaths and 733 new cases statewide, raising Oregon’s death toll to 2,572, and pushing the cumulative caseload to 193,732.

There were 351 Oregonians hospitalized with COVID-19 Thursday, five more than Wednesday, with 26 of those cases in Jackson and Josephine counties, one more than Wednesday, according to OHA data.