Salem Health Forging Ahead But Vaccine Clinics Canceled In Portland

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Salem Health plans to forge ahead with its COVID-19 vaccination clinics over the weekend, while most clinics will be closed in Portland. 

A Salem Health spokesman said the hospital system will make every effort to keep the Oregon State Fairgrounds site open on Friday and Saturday. Just under 1,000 appointments have been made -- 637 on Friday and 358 on Saturday. The site is closed on Sunday. Appointments also will proceed at Salem Health Medical Clinic in Woodburn on Friday and Saturday, where the slots have already been booked. It, too, is closed on Sunday.

Salem Health's vaccination clinic in Polk County at West Valley Hospital's site at Western Oregon University is expected to be open Friday, with 230 first doses scheduled and 422 second-dose appointments made. The site is not taking walk-in appointments. The spokesman said officials will keep an eye on the weather. The site is closed Saturday and Sunday.

Patients should check Salem Health's vaccine website and Facebook page for updates. Those who cancel will have to go through the sign-up process all over again.

Meanwhile in Portland, Legacy Health announced late Thursday that appointments at the Oregon Convention Center will be canceled on Friday, and Saturday and Sunday with snow and ice in the forecast. A spokesman said that officials at the site, run by Legacy, Oregon Health & Science University, Providence Health & Services and Kaiser Permanente, will reach out to people to reschedule their appointments for next week. Patients will be reached through whatever contact information they gave -- email, phone of through MyHealth. Those who have appointments next week will keep them.

OHSU also canceled its weekend clinic at PDX's red economy parking lot. It automatically rescheduled patients for the same time next weekend.

To secure an appointment at the convention center, many patients have gone through their account with the Legacy MyHealth system which the health system uses to communicate with patients. A Legacy spokeswoman told The Lund Report on Thursday that if people do not have a MyHealth account, they should book an appointment as a guest and sign up for one later. Some people, however, have been able to set up MyHealth accounts in advance by going here.

This sort of discrepancy in how to sign up and what to expect has cropped up frequently in the vaccine rollout, so be prepared for glitches and confusion. (An example: The vaccine tool that everyone has to go through on the Oregon Health Authority page is labeled chatbot -- but you don't actually chat with anyone. You just answer questions by clicking "yes" or "no.")

The Legacy spokeswoman said patients will be able to get a MyHealth account after the first appointment so that they can book their second shot. But that may not be necessary. Patients have told The Lund Report they were able to book their second appointment on the spot after getting their first shot at the Oregon Convention Center. The second appointment will be three weeks after the first for the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and four weeks later for the second Moderna vaccine. Patients are fully inoculated against the novel coronavirus about a week after the second shot.

You can reach Lynne Terry at [email protected] or on Twitter @LynnePDX.

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