Saturday vaccine POD open to Phase 1a plus K-12, early learning and childcare staff

The Malheur County Health Department and Incident Command team will host an indoor COVID-19 vaccine POD (point of distribution) at the Four Rivers Cultural Center this Saturday, Jan. 30, beginning at 10 a.m. The POD is open to Phase 1a and Phase 1b-Group 1. Vaccine recipients must live or work in Malheur County.

Phase 1a is often referred to as the “health care” group, but it is not limited to people who work in a health care setting. Phase 1a also includes residents and staff in long-term care facilities; paid or unpaid caregivers, including parents or foster parents, of medically fragile children or adults who live at home; people who have a medical condition or disability who receive services in their home; and those who provide direct service to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Statewide, Phase 1a includes about 400,000 people.

Phase 1b-Group 1 includes childcare providers, early learning and K-12 educators or staff. Statewide, this group includes about 105,000 people.

Saturday’s POD will distribute 300 first doses of the Moderna vaccine on a first-come, first-served basis. The vaccination event will go until about 2 p.m., or as long as vaccines last. There is no out-of-pocket cost for the vaccine. Administration fees will be billed to insurance; please bring your insurance card(s). You are also asked to wear a mask.

The Four Rivers Cultural Center is located at 676 SW 5th Ave. in Ontario. Please use the south entrance of the cultural center, near the theater. The back parking lot, located between the cultural center and TVCC’s Weese Building, will provide the closest access. Several wheelchairs will be available for use. Although the event will take place indoors, participants will likely be required to wait in line outdoors for a period of time. Please be prepared for cold weather and snow on the ground.

We previously posted information about ways to schedule a vaccine appointment with other local health care providers, but that information is no longer accurate. We will share updates as they become available.

Vaccine update: Who’s eligible, who’s next

Phase 1a: Malheur County Health Department will host a first-come, first-served vaccine POD (point of distribution) tomorrow for people who live or work in Malheur County and are in the Phase 1a group. Availability is limited to approximately 100 people. The POD will open at 8:45 a.m. MCHD will schedule additional PODs as more vaccine becomes available. Check our events calendar for upcoming opportunities.

Phase 1a is often referred to as the “health care” group, but it is not limited to people who work in a health care setting. Phase 1a also includes residents and staff in long-term care facilities; paid or unpaid caregivers, including parents or foster parents, of medically fragile children or adults who live at home; people who have a medical condition or disability who receive services in their home; and those who provide direct service to people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities. Statewide, Phase 1a includes about 400,000 people.

Phase 1b: People who are childcare providers, early learning or K-12 educators or staff will be eligible for vaccination beginning Monday, Jan. 25, and can now make appointments to be vaccinated. Those in Phase 1a may also continue to be vaccinated as Oregon moves through Phase 1b and beyond. Appointments can be made by calling:

· Your local Valley Family Health Care office during regular business hours

· The Saint Alphonsus-Ontario vaccine line at 541-881-7420. The vaccine line is staffed on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (due to technical issues, the line is down today and will be back up on Monday, Jan. 25.)

People age 80 and over will be eligible for vaccination beginning on Feb. 8. People age 65-79 will be vaccinated in the weeks following. Due to limited vaccine supply, Oregon Health Authority has updated its timeline to show that it will take 12-15 weeks to vaccinate groups 1-5 of Phase 1b.  Statewide, Phase 1b Group 1 includes about 105,000 people, and Groups 2-5 include roughly 795,000 people.

Oregon’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee will determine eligibility dates for other groups and will share that information as it is available.