OHA: Umatilla County Last in the State in Administering Vaccines

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Umatilla County is at the bottom of the state rankings in terms of the number of people vaccinated per 10,000 population, according to the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

That stat helped lead CNN to write a story about the county and the ever-growing divide between pro- and anti-vaccination camps.

The following excerpt captures the essence of the rural mindset:

“It is still the frontier out in these hinterlands and there’s certainly a sense of individualism,” said Tracy Bosen, the vaccinated owner of Pendleton House Historic Inn and a proponent of the shot.

“As far as the political realm is concerned, Pendleton is known for being the wild, wild West. People don’t like to be told what they have to do when we have our lives and our livelihoods and families to take care of.”

According to the OHA, Umatilla County is last among the state’s 36 counties in administering vaccines to residents with 2,413 people vaccinated per total population.

Statewide, Oregon  leads the nation in the rate of COVID-19 cases over the last two weeks.

Umatilla County Public Health Director Joseph Fiumara has been disappointed in the number of vaccines given out to county residents.

“We unfortunately, right now, we have more vaccine than we can find folks to give it to,” Fiumara said.

At a pair of recent vaccination events, Fiumara said, only about 500 of the more than 1,600 available doses were administered.

For the full CNN story, click here.