someone getting a shot

Residents of Deschutes, Crook and Jefferson counties age 75 and older can now make appointments to receive their COVID-19 vaccinations at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center, starting Tuesday.

Health officials announced the surprise availability Monday evening. According to state vaccine eligibility guidelines, individuals in this group were expected to be eligible for vaccines starting Feb. 14.

People in vaccine phases 1A and 1B — Group 1, can now schedule an appointment at www.stcharleshealthcare.org or by calling 541-699-5020. Expect to leave a message and receive a call back, health officials said.

“The community vaccination clinic at the Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center is incredibly successful,” said Dr. Jeff Absalon, St. Charles’ chief physician executive, in a statement Monday night. “Since Wednesday, St. Charles and Deschutes County have vaccinated 4,600 individuals in 1A and 1B — Group1 Phases. We’ve been able to move through these two groups so quickly that we are able to expand eligibility to residents 75 and older ahead of the state’s vaccination schedule.”

Between Tuesday and Saturday this week, St. Charles and Deschutes County plan to administer about 10,000 more doses, with the help of the Oregon National Guard, according to a release from St. Charles Health System and county health departments.

“Our most recent allotment of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines is going to allow us to make a significant push to vaccinate residents who are 75 and older, and thus at a higher risk for hospitalization and complications if they acquire COVID-19, as well as to continue vaccinating Phase 1A and 1B — Group 1,” Dr. George Conway, Deschutes County Health Services director, said in a statement.

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