Malheur County offers COVID-19 vaccine drive-up events, pediatric vaccine available

Malheur County Health Dept. .jpg
Posted at 6:37 PM, Nov 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-19 20:37:23-05

ONTARIO, Oregon  — The Malheur County Health Department is shifting gears and moving its drive-through COVID-19 vaccination efforts from the fairgrounds to the Ontario Airport Firehouse, this Saturday.

“We're utilizing help from the Malheur County Incident Command system, Malheur County Health Department, and several other nonprofits that have a volunteer to help us," said Angie Sillonis, public information officer at MCHD.

Sillonis said incentives will be an offer to those getting the COVID-19 vaccine shot.

"If you are fully vaccinated, and you bring someone who is not. You both get a gift card," she said.

Health staff will also offer the pediatric vaccine for ages 5 to 11.

“We would love to see more people vaccinated because every person who gets vaccinated protects the community," Sillonis said.

The hope is to raise vaccination rates for this new age group.

“We don't have local data that I have seen but statewide have seen 1.6 percent of the 5 to 11 years old vaccinated," Sillonis said. "It’s still new, and I know in the less rural counties, the more populated counties there are lines, so people are waiting in line to get vaccinated. In Malheur County, you can walk anywhere and get it done. It’s new enough that the numbers are going to start out small but will get higher."

Adult shots and boosters will also be available. The event will run from 10 am to 4 pm. with a follow-up on December 11.

Also, every Wednesday, the health department has extended hours to give individuals an opportunity to get vaccinated. The hours are from 1:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

“All ages 5 and up can come in and get the vaccine. We are also giving flu vaccines, and some kids, maybe because of the pandemic, some didn't get some of their childhood vaccines that they need for school, so we can catch people up on that as well,"Sillonis said.