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Everybody 16 and older can get a COVID shot in Oregon

All Oregonians 16 or older can now get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Vaccine eligibility under Oregon’s vaccine schedule expanded Monday, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

Jackson County Public Health is operating a walk-thru vaccination site at The Expo, which is administering the Moderna vaccine. The two-dose vaccine is for ages 18 and older.

On Wednesday, the federal- and state-backed Vaccination Equity Center, which includes a drive-thru option and will have a mobile health clinic, will open. That clinic will offer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, available for ages 16 and up.

“There is no requirement for a photo ID, proof of residency, or insurance coverage,” a news release said of the Vaccination Equity Center.

About 100 military, medical and support personnel will help run the site, according to the Oregon Office of Emergency Management.

Language accommodations will be available for non-English speakers, including American Sign Language and Spanish. Assistive hearing, vision devices and wheelchairs will be available upon request, the release said.

Visit www.jacksoncounty.org/getvaccinated to make an appointment at the walk-thru or drive-thru site.

Vaccinations are also available through several local pharmacies.

Expanded eligibility follows on the heels of a recent rise in cases locally and in the state. Jackson County reported 545 COVID-19 cases from April 4-17, according to the Oregon Health Authority, with a positive rate of 246.3 cases per 100,000 tests, according to an OHA report.

Previously, an Oregon county with a case rate at or above 200 per 100,000 people was enough to put the county under either a “cautionary period” — a probationary window intended to give counties the chance to get case rates back down — or raise it to “extreme,” which would mean new restrictions imposed on restaurants, gyms, indoor entertainment establishments, and places of worship.

Now, any county that meets the metrics for extreme risk will only move into extreme risk if statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations are at 300 or more and there is a 15% increase in the seven-day hospitalization average over the past week.

“If a county meets the case rate and percent positivity metrics for extreme risk, but the state does not meet the hospitalization metrics, the county will be placed at (or remain in) high risk,” said Liz Merah, spokesperson for Gov. Kate Brown.

As of Monday, 1,033,175 people in Oregon were considered fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and 567,168 others had received one shot in a two-dose regimen, state data show.

In Jackson County, 43,473 people were considered fully vaccinated, and 25,225 people had received one dose.

In Josephine County, 18,221 people were considered fully vaccinated, and 7,762 others had received one dose.

Jackson County Public Health Medical Director Dr. Jim Shames on Monday urged people to get vaccinated, especially as more infectious mutations of the virus continue to circulate and hospitalizations rise back up.

On Monday, OHA reported 243 people were hospitalized with the illness, 28 more than Sunday, with 57 in intensive care, nine more than Sunday.

OHA reported 473 new cases of the illness Monday, raising the state’s cumulative total to 175,592 cases. The agency reported no new deaths, with the state’s COVID-19 death toll remaining at 2,460.

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