As of Saturday afternoon, 2,140 Douglas County residents had been vaccinated for COVID-19, according to the Oregon Health Authority.

So far, everyone vaccinated has fit into the first group, 1a, which includes health care workers, nursing home residents and staff, and first responders.

Exactly when county residents in other groups will receive their shots remains unknown. Announcements from the state and federal government about who might become eligible next for vaccinations and when they might get them have so far contained as many plot twists as a B film murder mystery.

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown pronounced recently that teachers would begin receiving vaccines as early as Jan. 23, with people 80 and older to begin vaccination also in group 1b.

Then, the governor announced the state would follow brand new federal guidelines calling for all people 65 and up to be included in the next group.

Finally, on Friday the governor announced another new wrinkle. She said the state’s promise to open up the vaccines to those 65 and up next week had been based on the promise of U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar that the federal government would be releasing its entire supply of COVID-19 vaccines to states.

“(Y)esterday we received the disturbing news that this federal reserve of vaccines does not actually exist,” Brown said in a press release.

So where does that leave you?

Well, the state’s most recent plan, outlined Friday, looks like this:

If you are a teacher or other education, child care or preschool worker, you will become eligible for a vaccine Jan. 25.

If supplies allow, seniors 80 years old or older, will become eligible for a vaccine Feb. 8.

Those 75 or older will follow in a second wave. Those 70 or older will follow in a third, and those 65 and older will follow in a fourth.

People under 65 who have underlying conditions are not being included at the same priority level as seniors and teachers.

According to the U.S. Census’ 2019 figures, 26.3% of Douglas County’s 110,980 people are 65 or older.

That’s more than 29,000 seniors needing a vaccination in the quest for immunity from COVID-19, more than 10 times the number of county residents as a whole who have received at least one shot so far.

Some seniors will fit into the 1a group, as volunteer firefighters or nursing home residents or nurses, for example. But many will not.

The question now is, when will the seniors not in 1a — and the education workers — actually be able to receive a shot?

Public health officials don’t yet have an answer for that.

“It is a supply and demand issue, that we have no control over. While there is demand, and far more people that are eligible to get the vaccine, unfortunately, the supply chain of vaccines has not caught up to the demand,” Douglas County COVID-19 Response team spokesperson Tamara Howell said in an email.

Even before the discovery that the feds had no stockpile of vaccines, Douglas County health officials said they’d been given no guidelines or rules to follow on the change in priorities for who gets the vaccine.

For now, the focus remains on those in 1a.

“We also realize that age is the most potent predictor of bad outcomes, and we desperately want to protect our seniors,” Douglas County Public Health Officer Bob Dannenhoffer said in an email.

“We want to distribute vaccine quickly, fairly and in a manner that prioritizes those who are most at risk for serious illness and death from COVID, especially our senior population,” he said.

Dannenhoffer said local health officials are working diligently with their counterparts at the state to find a solution.

“If you want the vaccine, we want you to have it, and are working 24/7 to make that happen,” he said.

The first round of vaccines went directly from the federal government to specific groups eligible under 1a. Those included CHI Mercy Medical Center, Lower Umpqua Hospital, the Roseburg VA medical center, Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians and to the Walgreens/CVS pharmacy which arranged for distribution to nursing homes and other congregate care sites.

The second round was sent from the state to Local Public Health and to emergency medical services who are currently in the process of vaccinating EMS providers and other first responders.

Douglas Public Health Network had received 400 vaccines as of Jan. 12 and all of those have been administered to health care workers, mostly urgent care providers.

The health network has since received another 500 vaccines it distributed to local health care providers, including Aviva, SouthRiver Community Health Center, Umpqua Health Alliance, Nova Urgent Care and several small medical practices.

All of those vaccines are still just being given to people who are eligible under the 1a group. If you are in 1a, and haven’t been able to access a vaccine, contact vaccines@douglaspublichealthnetwork.org.

If things continued at the present rate, it could take a year or more to vaccinate all of Douglas County, Howell said.

As for whether things are likely to speed up, she said, “we can only hope at this time.”

But she’s confident the county can handle the logistical challenges if distribution does speed up.

The county is currently working to build a network of vaccinators across the county, and looking at the possibility of some large-scale community events similar to the flu shot and COVID-19 testing clinics it’s already done.

“Locally, we have a great plan in place, and we are ready to go, we just need the vaccine,” she said.

Reporter Carisa Cegavske can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213.

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Senior Reporter

Carisa Cegavske is the senior reporter for The News-Review. She can be reached at ccegavske@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4213. Follow her on Twitter @carisa_cegavske

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(19) comments

smb

If there aren't any doses available making a point about a low percent of per capita vaccination is 100% empty. You want to make something of it, you *imply* (which is, per the definition of the word, not actually saying something) that the commissioners and DPHN are to blame. This isn't a competence issue either. No vaccine = low percent vaccinated per capita...now that's good math to follow.

smb

Are DC citizens more, or less, likely to get an emergency vaccine based on the voting demographics in the area? How does this impact a "per capita" sort of look? Here you may have a linkage to county leadership and vaccination...but not nefariously so. Hypothesis: counties that voted for Trump are less inclined to get a Covid vaccine.

Mike

If so, how does that explain some rural counties with higher Trump voting percentages have vaccinated OVER 7.0% of their residents?

smb

Good question. What is your theory for the difference of 5%? As I've said, in my own carpet bomb way, there simply isn't any vaccine. You have avoiding responding to that data point because it undercuts the narrative you want to promote that our local officials are on their arse, or something nefarious is going on.

Btw, the refusal rate is very difficult to capture because the system isn't forcing a choice to declare a declination to be vaccinated, and none of the 1a organizations have mandated their workers get it. Anecdotally it's around 50%, which is unfortunate but not completely unexpected. That's including many healthcare organizations...what do you think the regular populace in DC will do once they are eligible to get it? How will those rates compare to other "blue" places? Herd immunity for the Roseburg area will not come from 75% of us getting inoculated I'm afraid to say, but maybe Lane County will do us a solid and pick up our slack...

smb

How many of the per capita were offered the vaccine but declined? Isn't that relevant to a raw percentage of who's been vaccinated?

Mike

A good question. The DPHN and our Commissioners are in a position to answer that questions but I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for an answer.

Mike

7 people were vaccinated in Douglas County yesterday, bringing its total to 2,349 doses administered since Douglas County received its first 1,595 doses on December 16. It took Douglas County over a month to administer the vaccine to 2.1% of its 112,251 residents. At this rate, it will take over 10 years for everyone in Douglas County to receive their two doses.

Of the 7 people who were vaccinated yesterday, 5 of those people received their second dose. In reality, only 2 people received their first vaccination yesterday. 169 people have received both of their two doses in Douglas County. That means 2,349 doses may have been administered in Douglas County, but only 2,180 people (1.8%) have received the vaccine.

Douglas County is the WORST County in Oregon for vaccinating its residents. No other County has vaccinated a lower percentage of its residents than Douglas County. Seven counties in Oregon have vaccinated over 6% of their residents. Below is the percentage of residents vaccinated in each of the 6 counties surrounding Douglas County.

Coos County -----------4.29%

Lane County ----------3.41%

Klamath County ------3.36%

Jackson County ------3.21%

Curry County ---------3.06%

Josephine County ---2.14%

Douglas County ------2.09%

All of this information is provided by the Oregon Health Authority on their vaccine dashboard. Unfortunately, the News-Review spam filter will not let me publish the link. However, you can get to it by going to the below link and scrolling down one half page and click on “Vaccination Trends.” Compare how POORLY Douglas County is doing compared to the other counties around it.

https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

smb

How many actual doses of vaccine did DC get since vaccine has been released? And how many of those doses given to DC providers have been actually used? (over 80% as of this comment). Are you aware that the state mandates following the stated eligibility phases? I'll post a link for you to see the phases, to 1b. https://sharedsystems.dhsoha.state.or.us/DHSForms/Served/le3527A.jpg

What if there are less Phase 1a eligible vacinees per capita in DC v. Lane, Multnomah, etc? Do you even know how the vaccine doses are allocated by the state to the counties? It's not plain vanilla per capita like your 2.09% is. Do you think that the antics of Dallas Heard has increased our allocation, or decreased?

Your callout of the percentage is numerically correct. Your implication of withholding vaccine, or anything within the span of control of our county's leadership causing a 2.09% rate is simply indefensible. Phase 1a is not the same demographic spread compared to total population in DC which is weighted toward mostly older citizens who are generally NOT firefighters, cops, healthcare aids...ie within the category than can actually get the vaccine. The allocation formula has changed a few times by the state, and surely you know of the tug-of-war between AARP and teacher's unions over who should get in line first. Hence flipping back and forth regarding educators v. 65 and up by Governor Brown.

We all get it, ad nauseum, that you hate the county commissioners. But your carpet-bombing tactics with just one or two data points without considering other variables does you no service when you do point out a gap that needs addressing. My variables listed above absolutely do matter to how relevant 2.09% means in context of all other counties in the state. Wish you'd dig deeper about vaccine allocation and other oddities at OHA level rather than trying (and failing) to bash our commissioners.

Mike

Please show me and everyone else where I implied the Commissioners withheld vaccine from anyone. YOU CAN'T, because I never said that. Let me be clear. The Commissioners did NOT withhold vaccine from anyone. What the Commissioners did was wash their hands from facilitating the vaccine roll-out, similar to how they downplayed coronavirus early on by claiming, "“There is no call for social distancing…There is no call to close events…People should go about their lives.”

Douglas Public Health Network could have been so much more proactive in the vaccine roll-out. Doing so would have saved lives. Seeing the vaccine phased roll-out coming for months, it was their duty to protect residents’ health by coordinating the vaccinations in anticipation of receiving shipments of the vaccine. Instead, DPHN and our Commissioners whined, made excuses and complained of not being allowed in the decision making process. Instead of attempting to coordinate effort in Douglas County, their area of responsibility, they instead totally abdicated that responsibility and referred EVERYONE to the OHA and CDC websites. Their exact words on their websites and daily press releases were, "we ask that you not call us" about vaccine questions.

It is only after overwhelming questions and pressure from the public came to bear that DPHN and our County Commissioners were reluctantly forced to become involved in saving residents lives in Douglas County. A task that is their sworn duty. Just four days ago the County Commissioner’s website eliminated the message “we ask that you not call us" and began providing some information about vaccinations, the majority of it meaningless, their half-hearted effort obvious in an attempt to head off mounting anger from the community. I wrote you were wrong the last time I responded to your comment. Some things don’t change.

Mike

11 new coronavirus cases were reported in today’s press release from the County Commissioners Coronavirus Task Force. This brings Douglas County totals to 1,690 cases and 43 deaths.

Roseburg’s Veteran Affairs reported 1 new coronavirus case since yesterday, bringing Roseburg’s VA totals to 178 cases and 5 deaths.

The Commissioners Response Team reported 234 coronavirus cases over the past two weeks which calculates to a 14-day case rate of 208.5 today for Douglas County, which is GREATER than the maximum case rate of 200 required for in-dining restaurants, bars, theaters and health clubs to reopen. Douglas County has now had a 14-day case rate over 200 for the last eight days in a row.

The Commissioners Response Team reported 234 coronavirus cases and the OHA reported Douglas County received 3,297 test results over the past two weeks. Dividing 234 cases by 3,297 test results gives Douglas County a 14-day positive test rate of 7.1% today.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 139 new coronavirus cases today and 1 death in Lane County today. The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 1,514 cases and 36 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 646 new coronavirus cases and 1 death today in Oregon. 190 Oregonians have died from coronavirus over the past week. Oregon’s 7-day positive test rate is 5.6% today.

melrosereader

Where will vaccines be available? At Rite Aid? Bimart? Costco? Fire Department? Where?

Mike

10 new coronavirus cases were reported in today’s press release from the County Commissioners Coronavirus Task Force. This brings Douglas County totals to 1,679 cases and 43 deaths.

The Commissioners Response Team reported 232 coronavirus cases over the past two weeks which calculates to a 14-day case rate of 206.7 today for Douglas County, which is GREATER than the maximum case rate of 200 required for in-dining restaurants, bars, theaters and health clubs to reopen. Douglas County has now had a 14-day case rate over 200 for the last seven days in a row.

The Commissioners Response Team reported 232 coronavirus cases and the OHA reported Douglas County received 3,222 test results over the past two weeks. Dividing 232 cases by 3,222 test results gives Douglas County a 14-day positive test rate of 7.2% today.

The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 134 new coronavirus cases today and 1 death. The six counties surrounding Douglas County reported 1,535 cases and 38 deaths over the past week.

The Oregon Health Authority reported 793 new coronavirus cases and 1 death today in Oregon. 195 Oregonians have died from coronavirus over the past week. Oregon’s 7-day positive test rate is 5.8% today.

Mike

106 people were vaccinated in Douglas County yesterday, bringing its total to 2,332 since receiving the first 1,595 doses on December 16. It took Douglas County one month to vaccinate 2.1% of its 112,251 residents. If you do the math, you will find it will take over 10 years for everyone in Douglas County to receive their two doses at this rate.

4.5% of Oregon’s residents have received their first dose of vaccine. Compare that to Douglas County which has vaccinated only 2.1% of its residents. In fact, Douglas County has vaccinated fewer of its residents than almost every county in Oregon. Only Grant County at 1.8% has vaccinated fewer of its residents than Douglas County. Below is the percentage of residents vaccinated in each of the 6 counties surrounding Douglas County.

Coos County -----------4.27%

Klamath County ------3.35%

Curry County ---------3.06%

Lane County ----------3.06%

Jackson County ------3.03%

Josephine County ---2.09%

Douglas County ------2.08%

All of this information is provided by the Oregon Health Authority on their vaccine dashboard. Unfortunately, the News-Review spam filter will not let me publish the link. However, you can get to it by going to the below link and scrolling down one half page and click on “Vaccination Trends.” Compare how Douglas County is doing compared to the other counties around it.

https://govstatus.egov.com/OR-OHA-COVID-19

smb

1. The state has not released vaccine in a per-capita manner, so your math is correct but irrelevant.

2. It's important to understand how many Phase 1a in each county. When the state includes age for a criteria then DC may start to get parity in the amount of vaccine given to it since our population skews towards the elderly.

3. Do the work, know how many per capita "first responders" in 1a for DC v. Lane, v. Multnomah, etc. Then make your case for some sort of nefarious work or incompetence.

Mike

If you reviewed the link I provided, you would find you are wrong.....again. OHA numbers are indeed stated in per capita numbers, both people administered doses of vaccine and total doses administered. Currently there are relatively few people who have received their second dose so the difference in per capita people and per capita doses is insignificant.

smb

vaccine doses are not distributed to the counties on a per capita basis, yet are tracked for # of vaccinated per capita. You data is correct you pasted...but you made an underlying assumption that the doses allocated were allocated per capita too done. Start with #s in Phase 1a, add a dash of politics, and a pinch of case load metrics (better covid prevention = less vaccine) and viola...less vaccine doses per capita when adding back in 100% of the population.

Mike

I'm just glad it appears you may have looked at the link and saw for yourself how bad Douglas County is on vaccinations compared to ALL other counties in Oregon.

CitizenJoe

Carisa, thank you for ferreting out this story. No offense intended; I really am reminded of a ferret in a warren, so many tunnels, so many bunnies and rodents. Thank you for doing this work!

I think bottom line is that the tRump administration utterly failed: you cannot immunize people with vapor-vax. Nor were states equipped to handle what should have been a national program. Scientists and pharma came through, but hundreds of thousands of Americans have died and will die through colossal governmental failure.

Mike

According to CDC’s website (below link), 335,075 doses of coronavirus vaccine have been delivered to Oregon since December 15. According to the Oregon Health Authority website, only 189,189 of those doses have been administered statewide. That means 145,886 vaccine doses are sitting on shelves somewhere in Oregon collecting dust. Meanwhile, a record high 196 people died in Oregon over the past week and 585 people have died in Oregon since the first vaccine doses were received by Oregon on December 15.

https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#vaccinations

One wonders how many of those people who died and/or the people who will die in the future while waiting to be vaccinated could have been saved if elected leaders had their stuff together. Politicians, administrators and the “science-guys” have KNOWN since early October (4 months ago) that Moderna and Pfizer were in stage III trials and that at least one of the vaccines would be authorized in early December for widespread use. Yet, those same Politicians, administrators and the “science-guys” UTTERLY FAILED to conceive a vaccination plan like other Countries and thus have cost thousands of lives in Oregon and the U.S. because of their negligence. Israel has vaccinated over 20% of their country already while receiving their first vaccine deliveries a week after the U.S.

90,000 Americans are forecast to die over the next month. Comparing the vaccine roll-put in the U.S. to other countries, it’s clear MANY could have been saved if not for the incompetence of our leaders and their failure to develop a plan to get those unused doses in people arms.

Oregon waited until January 6 (just ten days ago) before it created its “Vaccine Advisory Committee” to advise the Oregon Health Authority on who should be in the first Phases to receive the vaccines (below link). Ponder that. The OHA (science guys) have known for months the vaccine was coming and only decided to form a committee ten days ago, 20 days AFTER already receiving the first batches of vaccine, to finally get around to forming a group to decide how to actually make the vaccinations occur.

https://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/2021/01/editorial-oregons-lack-of-urgency-in-a-devastating-pandemic.html

But I place the majority of the blame on local health agencies that had the majority of the same information and chose to sit on their hands while complaining about not being involved. Local health agencies like Douglas Public Health Network could have been so much more proactive. Doing so would have saved lives. Seeing the vaccine phased roll-out coming for months, it was their duty to protect residents’ health by coordinating the vaccinations in anticipation of receiving shipments of the vaccine. Instead, DPHN and our Commissioners whined, made excuses and complained of not being allowed in the decision making process. Instead of attempting to coordinate the effort in Douglas County, their area of responsibility, they instead totally abdicated that responsibility and referred EVERYONE to the OHA and CDC websites. Their exact words on their website were, "we ask that you not call us" about vaccine questions.

It is only after overwhelming questions and pressure from the public that DPHN and our County Commissioners were reluctantly forced to become involved in saving residents lives in Douglas County. A task that is their sworn duty. Just four days ago the County Commissioner’s website eliminated the message “we ask that you not call us" and began providing some information about vaccinations, the majority of it meaningless, their half-hearted effort obvious in an attempt to head off the mounting anger from the community.

I ask one thing from readers. Remember this when the next elections come.

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