As Malheur County ranks nearly last in the state for COVID-19 vaccine rates, officials are finding creative ways to get people to get their shot. On the heels of Gov. Kate Brown rolling out many cash incentives for people to get vaccinated for COVID-19 on Friday, the health department is gearing up to pass out some freebies, too. As such, the first 250 people who get vaccines at the agency’s clinic at Four River Cultural Center on Thursday will get a $20 gift card to be used at local businesses.
According to information on Monday from Malheur County Health Department, Malheur County ranks 35th out of 36 counties for COVID-19 vaccination rates, and an additional 8,081 people age 16 and older need to be vaccinated to reach the 65% goal.
According to recent data by zip code, Vale’s population has the highest vaccine rate at 30.1%, trailed by Nyssa at 28.4% and Ontario at 28.1%.
A news release on Monday provided a breakdown of age-specific data in Malheur County as it compares to state averages. It is noteworthy that when broken down into age groups, all but one falls 20% or more below state average. The percentage of individuals ages 60-64 in Malheur County who have received COVID-19 vaccines is 47%, only 15% below the state average)
Local rates of age groups follow with the state average for each group noted in parenthesis.
• Age 16-19 12% (35%)
• Age 20-29: 15% (43%)
• Age 30-39: 19% (53%)
• Age 40-49: 29% (56%)
• Age 50-59: 34% (57%)
• Age 60-64: 47% (62%)
• Age 65-69: 55% (75%)
• Age 70-74: 53% (81%)
• Age 75-79: 60% (82%)
• Age 80+: 59% (79%)
This week’s clinic will stretch out from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Thursday, as the Malheur County Health Department gets ready for a big push before the holiday weekend. Appointments are not needed, and anyone age 18 and older can get the one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot. Second shots of Moderna will also be administered for anyone who received their first dose at the same location on April 29 or at the FEMA event at the Malheur County fairgrounds April 16-23.
Oregonians age 18 and older who get vaccinated against COVID-19 will be entered into a statewide lottery for $1 Million, but the cutoff date to get entered into the state’s database is June 27, and Gov. Kate Brown urges people not to wait until the last minute, as it may take “several days” from the time a person gets a shot until they make it onto the database. For the so-called “Get Your Shot Challenge,” only those in the database will be in the drawing, which will take place on June 28. There also will be a lottery for $10,000 in each county, and for those ages 12 to 17, a lottery for one of five $100,000 scholarships.
In addition to getting registered for the state and county drawings, those who get vaccinated on Thursday at the clinic at Four Rivers Cultural Center also stand a chance to win.
Individuals who are struggling to get a vaccine are urged to contact the health department at (541) 889-7279 or malheurhealth.org, to get help with transportation or even get a vaccine delivered.