Klamath County residents 18 and older with qualifying underlying health conditions and frontline workers who are face-to-face with the public as well as their families can now schedule COVID-19 vaccination appointments for two Sky Lakes clinics this week.
The first-dose vaccination clinics will be Thursday and Friday on the fourth floor of Sky Lakes Medical Center. Appointments can be made by calling 1-833-606-4370 weekdays 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; no walk-in slots or on-site appointments are available.
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown last week expanded eligibility to qualifying people 16 and older, however, only the Pfizer vaccine is approved for the younger group. Sky Lakes expects confirmation of its allocation of the approved vaccine late Thursday and may be able to open appointments for the Friday vaccination event.
The definition of "underlying conditions" expanded last week to include people with Type 1 diabetes, current and former smokers, and people with substance use disorders. Other underlying health conditions that put people at increased risk are cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down syndrome, heart conditions, obesity (BMI of 25 or greater), pregnancy, Type 2 diabetes, sickle cell disease, and people who are immunocompromised from organ transplant or HIV are at increased risk.
The eligibility expansion also includes people living in households with three generations or more.
Previously, Klamath County adults aged 45-64 with underlying health conditions, farm and agricultural workers, people living in low-income senior housing, and people 65 and older were eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations.
Besides reducing your own risk of getting COVID-19, there are other reasons to get a vaccine now. For starters, you'll be helping to:
- Bring an end to the pandemic. When enough people are immunized against COVID-19, the virus will be less able to spread.
- Protect the healthcare system. When infections surge, Sky Lakes nurses and doctors will have less capacity to care for the very ill. Staying healthy helps ensure that care will be available for those who need it.
- Safeguard those around you. Getting your shots as soon as you can makes it less likely that you will spread COVID-19 to your loved ones who may not be vaccinated yet.