banner-optimized_0_0.png
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
Regional Interests

More signs of hope in Oregon: Vaccines for more kids and a big clinic winds down

Kathy Swanson-Clark, a registered nurse, organizes the vaccination stations before the opening of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic  at the Oregon Convention Center in January. The clinic has delivered more than 400,000 shots and could close in mid June.
Kathy Swanson-Clark, a registered nurse, organizes the vaccination stations before the opening of the COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Oregon Convention Center in January. The clinic has delivered more than 400,000 shots and could close in mid June.

Oregon leaders are preparing for the federal government to approve COVID-19 vaccines for people ages 12 to 15, even as state health officials are also scaling back large clinic work as demand for shots decreases.

Federal regulators announced Monday that they are approving the Pfizer vaccine for people ages 12 to 15, with details expected Wednesday.

Dr. Shimi Sharief with the Oregon Health Authority says that before administering any doses, a coalition of Western states needs to take a closer look at things like hospitalization rates and adverse reactions.

The Western States Scientific Safety Review Workgroup was set up by Oregon, Washington, California and Nevada last year as part of a multi-state effort to depoliticize questions about social distancing requirements, mask rules and vaccine approval and ensure a consistent approach to fighting a virus that does not acknowledge state borders.

Sharief said after the review, Oregon’s vaccine effort should be a straightforward roll out for younger patients using the same basic framework set up to vaccinate people 16 and older.

Federal approval for younger patients coincides with a drop in demand for vaccine doses. People who want to get a COVID-19 vaccine at the Oregon Convention Center need to act soon. The mass vaccination site will provide first and second doses until May 27. After that, the convention center will only be providing second doses.

Health officials say demand is going down, and they expect the site will close completely on June 19.

The clinic is accepting both walk-ins and scheduled appointments, and at this point it’s only offering the Pfizer vaccine. The OCC mass vaccination site opened in January and has provided more than 400,000 shots so far.

For more information on how and where to get vaccinated, visit the state website. The shots are free.

Copyright 2021 Oregon Public Broadcasting