(Salem, Ore. – May 20, 2021) – Salem Health announces several changes and additions to the COVID-19 Vaccine Program, aimed at increasing the role of providers in vaccinations, creating more options and locations to receive the vaccine and addressing vaccine hesitancy.
Vaccinations are now available at:
At the request of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Salem Health has become a Vaccine Redistribution Hub, receiving, storing and distributing vaccine to area clinics, pharmacies and public health sites requiring smaller quantities of the vaccine. Hubs enable access to the Pfizer vaccine for those provider offices and pharmacies that are not equipped with the ultra-cold storage the Pfizer vaccine requires. Pfizer is the only vaccine authorized for ages 12 to 17.
“Our focus is on providing vaccine wherever it is needed,” said Cheryl Wolfe, president and CEO, Salem Health. “From the beginning, Salem Health built into our plan a number of ways to vaccinate the community. Standing up the state’s first mass vaccination clinic in the first days of 2021 has proven to be some of the most important work of our careers in healthcare. As we have throughout the pandemic and through vaccine response, we will adjust to meet the needs of our community.”
Mass vaccination clinics in Marion and Polk counties
Nearly 200,000 vaccinations have been given at Salem Health’s vaccine clinic at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center since opening on Jan. 6 as the state’s first mass vaccination site. Salem Health’s Polk County vaccine clinic at Western Oregon University in Monmouth has given more than 32,000 vaccines since Jan. 11. Following both statewide and nationwide trends, Salem Health has begun to see a decline in demand at the mass vaccination clinics in Salem and Monmouth.
Starting Tuesday, May 25, the vaccine clinic in Salem will scale down operations into a smaller footprint at the fairgrounds. The parking entrance and exit will shift to Sunnyview Road NE, with clearly marked directional signage for those visiting the new location for their first or second dose vaccine.
Changes will facilitate a rapid process while retaining access for those for whom the centrally located Marion County site is the best option. Vaccine clinic hours remain the same, Tuesday through Saturday, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled (www.salemhealth.org/vaccine) and walk-ins are encouraged and welcome up to 4:00 p.m. each day.
Salem Health’s Polk County vaccine clinic at Western Oregon University will scale back to a two-day-a-week clinic schedule starting Wednesday, June 2 (closed on the Memorial Day holiday, Monday, May 31). The vaccine clinic will be open Wednesday and Friday, 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Appointments can be scheduled (www.salemhealth.org/vaccine) and walk-ins are encouraged and welcome up to 4:00 p.m. each day.
Salem Health will continue daily monitoring of vaccine demand for these sites in Marion and Polk counties, with each projected to remain open through early June for first doses and late June for second doses, unless demand and community need dictate staying open longer.
Salem Health Medical Clinics
Salem Health recognizes that some people are more comfortable talking with their provider about the vaccine and receiving it in a medical clinic setting. Vaccinations are now available at Salem Health Medical Clinics – at all eight of its primary care clinic locations. Salem Health’s primary care clinics have given more than 450 vaccinations since May 4.
Walk-ins are welcome and open to the public during clinic hours, up to one hour before closing each day. Beginning June 1, appointment scheduling will be available, for ages 12 and over, online at www.salemhealth.org/vaccine, and walk-ins will continue to be welcome at each Salem Health Medical Clinic location.
Mobile Vaccine Team
The Mobile Vaccine Team focuses on equity in vaccinating Oregonians, prioritizing hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations, as well as those for which travel to one of the larger vaccine clinics is a barrier. Nearly 6,000 vaccines have been given through the more than 53 mobile vaccine clinic events since March 18. Scheduling is ongoing with 28 more mobile vaccine events currently planned for food packaging plants; migrant and seasonal agricultural workers; churches, parishes and religious groups; senior living communities; homeless communities; rural communities in Marion and Polk counties; and at school locations across both counties.
Salem Health has added mobile vaccine clinic sites that are open to the public. The Mobile Vaccine Team collaborated with Woodburn Ambulance and the Interface Network for the Woodburn Centennial Park Drive-Thru Vaccine Clinic on May 20. On Friday, May 21, 2:00 – 6:00 p.m., a mobile vaccine clinic open to the public will be held at Four Corners Elementary School, 500 Elma Avenue SE, Salem. Mobile vaccine clinic sites which are open to the public will be posted on www.salemhealth.org/vaccine. No appointment is needed for the mobile vaccine clinic public sites.
Vaccine Redistribution Hub
OHA has designated Salem Health as a Vaccine Redistribution Hub, a distribution plan designed to widen vaccine access and prevent waste. Salem Health is one of a dozen hubs which are regionally located across the state. In its initial plan, the Vaccine Redistribution Hub model will ensure that people everywhere in the state have access to the Pfizer vaccine, especially youth ages 12 to17 for whom it is the only authorized vaccine.
Each hub serves as a central site to receive vaccines, store them for brief periods of time, repackage them into smaller batches, and redistribute them to clinics and other administering sites. Hubs will allow vaccinators such as clinics, pharmacies and public health sites to have smaller quantities of the Pfizer vaccine available in their conventional vaccine freezers and refrigerators, where they may be safely stored.
Salem Health has been honored to be a part of Oregon’s broad-scale vaccination effort. The vaccine program continues to evolve to go where people are who need the vaccine and to address vaccine hesitancy as community members make their choice to be vaccinated. This marks a new phase of the program as Salem Health adjusts its vaccination plan to meet community need, while recognizing that not everyone is comfortable receiving a vaccination yet. Salem Health is committed to providing information and access to increase vaccination and immunity in our community.
About Salem Health Hospitals and Clinics
Salem Health offers exceptional care to people in and around Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley. It comprises hospitals in Salem and Dallas, a medical group of primary and specialty care providers, plus other affiliated services. Visit us at www.salemhealth.org; “Like” us on www.facebook.com/salemhealth; follow us on Instagram and Twitter: @salemhealth; and view us at www.youtube.com/salemhealth.
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