REDMOND, OR -- The high-volume COVID-19 vaccination clinic has reopened at the Deschutes County fairgrounds, through a county and state partnership. The Redmond clinic offers the new Bivalent booster and is open for walk-ins Wednesday through Saturday, from noon to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., through September 25.
"Both Moderna and Pfizer’s updated boosters have an mRNA component that targets the BA.4 and BA.5 subvariant and an mRNA component that targets the original virus strain," says State Epidemiologist Dr. Dean Sidelinger. He adds, the Omicron subvariant BA.5 is now responsible for nearly all new COVID cases in Oregon.
The Deschutes County Fairgrounds vaccination clinic is one of three opening this week, "in addition to our existing high-volume sites and smaller clinics," says Sidelinger, "We know that [the new boosters] opens up eligibility across even more Oregonians than we’ve seen with previous vaccine changes, we wanted to be prepared to have vaccines available to individuals in as convenient a way as possible." Boosters are free and a previous booster is not required.
The Oregon Health Authority says 69,400 doses of the updated shot are now in the state, and Dr. Sidelinger says more is coming, "OHA expects to have two waves of orders this week, for 75,500 doses. We also expect a similar number - another 75,500 to be delivered to pharmacies, for a total of at least 150,000, which we believe is enough supply to meet initial demand.
According to the latest report, COVID-related hospitalizations have fallen 44% since July, although the OHA says cases could rise again this winter.