A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Covid shots: A question of waiting and hoping

Written February 3rd, 2021 by Hasso Hering

Drive-through Covid testing off Seventh Avenue in Albany a month ago, on Jan. 7.

As you may have discovered, it’s not easy to learn about when and where you might be able to get a shot against the Covid virus, but maybe that will change next week.

Now, if you want to sign up for getting vaccinated when your age category becomes eligible, you can’t do that until after the date when you actually are eligible. No making appointments in advance, in other words. At least that’s what I learned from the kind woman who answered the Benton County Covid information line on Wednesday morning.

This uncertainty has been made more aggravating by various people posting on Facebook that they’ve had their vaccination even though, being retired and not working in education or health care, they don’t seem to meet any of the eligibility standards published by the state.

According to the published schedule, people aged 80 or above will become eligible to be immunized on Feb. 8. Then, for anyone 75 or older the starting date is Feb. 15.

People at least 70 can get shots starting Feb. 22, and anyone 65 and above can do so starting March 1.

Being eligible and getting the shots are not the same thing. “There will be more seniors who want to get vaccinated than there will be vaccines available to them,” the Oregon Health Authority warned on Wednesday.

The good news, of you can call it that, is this: The Health Authority says next week it will launch a new tool allowing people not only to determine if they’re eligible but also “to register to get email alerts or text notifications about vaccine events in their area.”

Both Linn and Benton counties already have online information sites. They also have been holding vaccination clinics and plan to hold more. Go to their respective websites to find out more. And then, good luck getting an appointment to get your shot when your turn comes. (hh)

14 responses to “Covid shots: A question of waiting and hoping”

  1. HowlingCicada says:

    Confusion and short supply today. Get ready for a very different problem a few seasons from now: vaccine hesitancy and refusal. Also, to get back to “normal,” percentage vaccination needed may be higher than currently thought because of new strains and premature social easing.

    Hesitancy might be overcome with patience and the right approach. The real danger is outright refusal by people who have latched on to an alternate reality, and for whom any rational argument is simply taken as further proof of their own beliefs. The internet didn’t start this — we had plenty of crackpots 60 years ago, but they didn’t communicate with each other in walled-off silos every day.

    What makes this obvious is that we’ve recently seen — and still see — the same kind of crap in the political realm.

    • James Engel says:

      Ya know Cicada if you’d use your real name I might pay attention. You and the others who hide behind false/made up names are just so much B.S.. I state & I provide my real name. Wish H.H. would require given names to make a post.

  2. Gordon L. Shadle says:


    Given the Moderna vaccine comes in10 dose vials and has a short shelf life, lots of it is being thrown in the garbage at the end of the day.

    Our local health district recognized this and decided not to ask the bureaucracy for permission to act.

    They put out the word that local folks willing to be put on a moment’s notice call list could get the vaccine.

    We said “Heck ya.” Several days later we got a late afternoon call. We rushed over to the clinic and got the first shot within minutes. We go back for the second shot in two weeks.

    And we were way, way down the “official” eligibility list.

    Sometimes it just takes a little common sense to avoid wasting a scarce resource.

    • curious says:

      I’m all for not wasting doses! I hope you can help other people figure out how we can get on the list you were on?

      • Gordon L. Shadle says:

        Call the health district, hospital, pharmacy, or clinic that scheduled your original appointment according to the pecking order imposed by your state or locality.

        Ask them if they have a moments notice call list you can get on to ensure a dosage doesn’t get wasted at the end of the day.

        If your state or locality hasn’t adopted a “find any arm at the end of the day” approach, you’re probably going to wait. Some bureaucracies have common sense. Some don’t.

        Good luck.

  3. Carla mundt says:

    I have kept my outings to a minimum during this COVID. My husband passed away a week ago, and I have had to be out and about more than I would like. I am 80 years old and would hope to get the shot soon. I feel it will give me a little more protection. Unfortunately, the prisoners get their shot before I do. Grrrrrrr.

  4. Richard Vannice says:

    Gordon – who is your local health district? How do you get on this “preferential list” when they are not taking applications for appointments until who knows when?

    • Gordon L. Shadle says:

      Well, apparently the first thing you need to do is move out of Oregon.

      Where I live every county health district has an online form you submit to get in line. Your place in line is determined by which priority group you fall into.

      But virtually every district also has a waitlist that bypasses the priority groups. All you have to do is call them and volunteer to be on the last minute call list.

      Like our state’s health secretary told the districts, when faced with a situation where vaccine may be wasted, “find the closest arm of who wants to get vaccinated”. Hence, the call list.

      Evidently Oregon doesn’t have a similar system, or is not advertising it very well if it exists.

      If they tell you there is no waste, your BS meter should start dinging. Wasting even a small amount of a scarce resource is too much.

  5. Jennifer Stuart, RN, PHN, CCRN says:

    The Linn County Public Health website is not user friendly. Today (Saturday Feb 6) My daughter spent about 4 hours trying to get a Covid-19 vaccine appointment for my 84 year old mother. My mother likes to do things like making doctor appointments or filling prescriptions for herself, but she is not very experienced with doing so on the internet. Many seniors like my mother do not have smart phones or use the internet for their healthcare needs. My daughter finally succeeded, but there is no way that my mother could have done this on her own. This is a flawed rollout that will not meet the needs of many people who are most vulnerable in this pandemic. Linn County Public Health needs to have more than one way for people to get appointments for their vaccines. My daughter said it was like trying to buy Hamilton tickets. But unlike buying tickets for a popular musical, this is an essential service during a deadly pandemic. The current setup is going to cause serious inequity in the ability to get a vaccination. I hope Linn County Public Health will improve its system for making vaccination appointments.

  6. Bill Kapaun says:

    It’s a bit frustrating to see PERS employees, death row inmates and other punk prisoners in their 20’s & 30’s go to the head of the line in front of 70 year olds with breathing issues.

  7. thomas earl cordier says:

    Just rec’d our first Moderna dose at Linn County fairgrounds–well organized. The Linn County URL
    On that system–when vaccines are available a monthly calendar is shown–click on the day you’d like an appointment. Right-then the screen will tell you whether one is available
    or not. A time is given and later you’ll receive an confirmation email. Benton County ? not so easy

  8. thomas earl cordier says:

    why delete the URL provided

  9. thomas earl cordier says:

    I thought I included it after The Linn County URL—
    it is:


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