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With more vaccination sites opening in Oregon, rollout slowed by limited supply of doses

The Oregon Convention Center vaccination site could handle 7,500 people a day, but will give only 2,000 shots a day for now because they don’t have enough doses.

PORTLAND, Ore. — After weeks of pushing for more places to get COVID-19 vaccine shots, one thing has become clear, according to Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen. There are now more systems ready to go than there are available shots.

“There are hospital systems working with local public health all across the state to stand up, or having already stood up as is the case with Salem mass vaccination sites," Allen said. "And the biggest issue we’re having right now is how to supply them with enough vaccine to make them efficient and allow them to be high throughput."

The Oregon Convention Center vaccination site, a joint effort between OHSU, Legacy, Providence and Kaiser, could easily handle 7,500 people a day, but will give only 2,000 shots a day for now because they don’t have enough doses.

RELATED: Oregon Convention Center sets its sights on 7,500 vaccinations a day

OHSU is making a change with its drive-up vaccination sites. It's closing two sites currently located at the convention center and Hillsboro Stadium, and will open a new site at the red lot of Portland International Airport. OHSU is also closing the testing site at the convention center, but the testing site at Hillsboro Stadium remains open.

“Much like what we’re doing at the convention center, we’re building the infrastructure and the capability to operate every day for months," said Joe Ness, chief operating officer for OHSU.

RELATED: Drive-thru COVID-19 vaccination clinic opens at PDX

He said it will start small but could grow quickly if there are enough vaccine shots. 

Just like the other vaccination efforts, you cannot just show up. You have to get an appointment, and for the moment, be part of group 1a.

The mass vaccination site at the Oregon State Fairgrounds in Salem allows walk-ups but warns you may be turned away if you do not live in Marion County.

“Schedules change daily depending upon vaccine supply and demand. Check daily for updates on dates, hours and who is eligible to receive the vaccine based on OHA guidelines," wrote Salem Health spokeswoman Lisa Wood. "Pre-scheduling for an appointment window is recommended; however, walk-ins are welcome and scheduled appointments are not guaranteed, based on eligibility and vaccine supply." 

She added the vaccine clinic has given out more than 22,000 doses.

RELATED: People in other priority groups skipping vaccination line at Salem clinic

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