It only took 30 minutes for 2,550 appointments to get claimed at OHSU’s COVID-19 vaccine drive-thru clinic.
PORTLAND, Oregon — As the greater Portland area woke up to frozen neighborhoods, broken trees and slick roads Monday morning, thousands of seniors made the virtual sprint to get one of the relatively few COVID-19 vaccination shots offered at the Oregon Convention Center or Portland International Airport.
Last Monday, Feb. 8, 168,000 Oregonians 80 and older became eligible for the shots. This Monday, another 134,000 people 75 and older joined them — a total of more than 300,000. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) estimated the real number closer to 200,000 because some already got shots since they live in long-term care facilities. Still, that’s a lot of people. The state said Oregon’s weekly allotment is growing to about 82,000 doses a week but some of that is still needed to vaccinate teachers and members of the 1a group.
Those numbers help explain why 5,100 appointments for vaccinations at the convention center were sold out in just 90 minutes Monday, and 2,550 for Oregon Health and Science University’s (OHSU) drive-thru clinic at the airport were gone in just 30 minutes.
More appointments will open Thursday, Feb. 18, at 9 a.m. If you are eligible, you can sign up for them here.
Monday morning’s crummy weather delayed the opening of the ongoing vaccination effort at the Oregon Convention Center by two hours but many hardy folks braved the snow and ice to get their first shot. Bobbie drove in from the hills of Oregon City.
“I’m a health care worker — its risking the people that I work with and it’s risky to myself. It’s being socially responsible,” she said.
It is a good thing she got her shot. KGW learned the power went out at some of the Oregon vaccination sites. Vaccine doses had to be moved to new freezers before they went bad. Additionally, canceled flights out of Kentucky and Tennessee are delaying COVID-19 vaccine shipments across the country. OHA is in touch with the CDC to ensure Oregon’s doses are safe.
KGW’s Mike Benner contributed to this report.