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Klamath County seeks to complete Phase 1-A vaccine recipients

KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. – Klamath County Public Health (KCPH), Sky Lakes Medical Center (SLMC), and other healthcare agencies are working together to complete service to individuals within the Phase 1-A groups for COVID-19 vaccination.

 

“There are about 400,000 people in Phase1-A statewide,” said SLMC Vice President of Medical Affairs, Grant Niskanen, MD. “We must serve these people before moving into the next phase of vaccine delivery.”

 

KCPH Director Jennifer Little stressed that individuals not in Phase 1-A are requested to wait patiently for their turn. “As a county, we have to be able to attest to serving those in Phase 1A before we can move on to phase 1B. We’ve been doing a great job thus far, and we believe we are getting close to meeting the mark in Klamath. We’ve been conducting outreach to the various 1A groups, and now it’s time for a final push and with a call to the public to serve those individuals.”

 

An online tool to determine eligibility is available at https://covidvaccine.oregon.gov/.

 

The Oregon Health Authority has defined Phase 1-A groups as:

Group 1

  • Hospital staff with frontline patient care responsibilities
  • Urgent care
  • Skilled nursing and memory care facility healthcare personnel and residents
  • Tribal health programs
  • Emergency medical services (EMS) providers and other first responders
  • All health care interpreters and traditional health care workers within any setting within Phase 1-A

Group 2

  • Other long-term care facilities, including all paid and unpaid HCP, all staff and contractors, including residents who meet the age requirements of: 
    • Residential care facilities
    • Adult foster care
    • Group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
    • Other similar congregate care sites
  • Hospice programs
  • Mobile crisis care and related services
  • Individuals working in a correctional setting

Group 3

  • Healthcare personnel in outpatient settings serving specific high-risk groups
  • Day treatment services
  • Non-emergency medical transport
  • Paid or unpaid caregivers (including parents or foster parents) of medically fragile children or adults who live at home
  • Adults and age-eligible children who have a medical condition or disability who receive services in their homes

Group 4

  • All other outpatient healthcare personnel
  • Other healthcare personnel who provide direct service to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities and other high-risk populations
  • Other public health settings, such as healthcare personnel serving WIC, or community-based organizations with direct or indirect exposures

 

Individuals in these groups must be served prior to opening vaccination opportunities for the next priority groups.

 

Those who fit into any of the above categories should call 1-833-606-4370 to schedule vaccination.

 

“We need to keep the phone lines open for those who need to schedule. There is not a vaccine registry and scheduling outside of Phase 1-A will not happen at this time. The limited doses we have in the community need to go towards those in Phase 1A. People who are not in the groups being served have other opportunities to be informed,” said Dr. Niskanen.

 

Gov. Kate Brown indicated on Jan. 15 that beginning Jan. 25 Pre-Kindergarten through high school educators will be the next priority group, followed by those 80 and older on Feb. 8.

 

To subscribe to email vaccine updates, send a message to vaccine@klamathcounty.org. Those without access to email may call the vaccine update number at 541.885.6753. Updates will also be shared with newspaper, radio and television media outlets.

Stopping a pandemic is going to take all our tools: handwashing, masks, social distancing, and vaccines. Taken together, these tools offer the best chance of getting our communities, schools, and health systems back to normal sooner. COVID-19 has had a huge impact on daily life for many people. A COVID-19 vaccine can help you stay healthy, give you peace of mind, and get you back to spending time with family and friends. 

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Early vaccine in Klamath County

Sky Lakes Medical Center and Klamath Tribal Health & Family Services was provided access to vaccine the week of December 21 to serve these agencies' frontline healthcare workers. In Oregon, hospitals and Tribal Health have been made priority vaccination agencies, as each serves its local vulnerable populations. After these institutions are served other healthcare workers will be provided vaccination opportunities, and will be followed by long-term care facilities' employees and residents. 

Federal COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Plans

The federal government has shared its distribution plans. Those plans indicate it will take time to produce enough vaccine for everyone who wants to be vaccinated. This means that vaccine will be distributed in phases. Early vaccine is scheduled for people at highest risk of exposure or severe COVID-19 illness. As vaccine supply increases, more people will be able to get the vaccine. Early vaccine is likely to be tightly controlled, with states having increasing flexibility to determine access to vaccine in later phases.

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