Pendleton Convention Center

Registered nurse Kori Hibbard prepares to administer a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to Kari Ferguson, a secretary at Gib Olinger Elementary School in Milton-Freewater, during a vaccination clinic at the Pendleton Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021.

Umatilla County saw a sharp uptick in COVID-19 immunizations last week, as 2,559 county residents reportedly received the vaccine over a seven-day span between Jan. 22 and Jan. 29, according to data from the Oregon Health Authority.

That’s the largest jump in inoculations since efforts began in the county in late December 2020.

After health care workers began formally immunizing residents on Dec. 28, 2020, it took the county 18 days to report a higher total than last week’s, according to OHA data.

The county has now reported that 4,808 residents have been vaccinated against COVID-19 — nearly 6% of the population, up from 3.1% just a week before, according to from OHA.

In addition, 986 people have now received their second “booster” dose, fully immunizing them against coronavirus. Only four people in the county were reported as fully immunized against the virus two weeks before, according to OHA data as of Jan. 17.

The increase was partly due to two events held at the Pendleton Convention Center on Thursday, Jan. 28, and Hermiston High School on Friday, Jan. 29, where the health department brought the vaccine to at least 930 educators and people in Phase 1a, according to the county health department.

The county also administered 252 doses to long-term care and adult foster homes throughout the week, according to Joe Fiumara, the county’s public health director. The county has focused on long-term care facilities as part of an agreement with the Oregon Health Authority to bring the vaccines to facilities that were not covered in the Federal Pharmacy Partnership, an effort to send retail pharmacists into nursing homes to speed up COVID-19 immunization efforts.

In the past two weeks, the health department alone administered 1,712 doses, Fiumara said. The county is currently in possession of 1,100 total doses — 814 of which are for people to receive their first vaccine and 286 are for second doses.

The health department received its latest shipment of 800 doses on Jan. 29, as it prepares for next week’s efforts.

It is unclear when the county will be receiving its next shipment, Fiumara said.

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