Cannon Beach to be point of distribution for vaccine

Cannon Beach Chamber of Commerce held a COVID-19 vaccine discussion during their monthly breakfast meeting Tuesday, Jan. 12.

Cannon Beach Emergency Manager Rick Hudson said Clatsop County will be moving back to Extreme Risk Friday, Jan. 15. As of Jan. 14, the county has had 666 total confirmed positive COVID-19 cases, 12 hospitalizations and four deaths.

“We also in Cannon Beach have been planning with Clatsop County Public Health Department points of distribution,” Hudson said. “Not sure if that’s going to happen but we are ready and able.”

Clatsop County will vaccinate the medical reserve corps this week, Hudson added.

“I’ll be working with emergency management of Clatsop County today and the rest of this week to get another mask delivery out hopefully soon,” Hudson said. “I’ll get those dates out as soon as I can.”

Clatsop County Health Department Emergency Manager Vincent Aarts said things are changing quickly regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. The health department began vaccine planning two months ago.

“The state was going to be issued target priorities,” Aarts said. “That became clear after they voted for the emergency use authorization for the vaccines, that we’re currently using, that they wanted us hitting specific people when the supply of the vaccine was still very low.”

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) produced a sequence plan and broke it into four groups for Phase 1A. Group 1 includes facilities such as hospitals, urgent care, skilled nursing and memory care facility healthcare personnel and residents, and more. Group 2 includes other long-term care facilities such as residential care facilities, adult foster care, group homes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, other congregate care, and more. Group 3 includes healthcare personnel in outpatient settings serving specific high-risk groups, day treatment services, non-emergency medical transport, and caregivers of medically fragile children or adults who live at home. Group 4 includes all other outpatient healthcare personnel and public health sites.

“Clatsop County took that sequence plan and we swallowed it whole,” Aarts said.

Clatsop County also made some small variations, Aarts added. The state has put county jail systems low on the order, yet Clatsop County was experiencing some issues at their county jail, so they moved the county jail system up the list.

On the first day of vaccines in Clatsop County, there were three allergic reactions, one which required a person to go to the emergency room, Aarts said. Three percent of people getting shots were having an immediate reaction. This was before people were being screened for allergies. After getting their dose, the health department is requiring them to sit for half an hour so their reactions can be monitored.

The health department’s three partners– Providence Seaside Hospital, Columbia Memorial Hospital and Coastal Family Health Center—were getting 500-600 doses a week. They did not have the allocation numbers for the week of Jan. 12 at the time of the meeting. There is also no reservation made at this time for the second round of doses.

Allergies to celery and bee stings tend to produce reactions to the Moderna vaccine, Aarts said. In Clatsop County, these reactions were handled with Benadryl. Each clinic will have health professionals equipped with allergy medication and will monitor reactions.

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