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Lincoln County blasts health authority over vaccine “catch up” redistribution

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Lincoln County Vaccines

A band of Lincoln County agencies and the Board of Commissioners have sent a letter to Oregon Health Authority lead Patrick Allen, urging the director to take a more equitable approach to COVID-19 vaccine distribution.

The letter comes after Gov. Kate Brown redirected 32,000 vaccines from rural Oregon to Portland. Republican state leadership and State Senator Dick Anderson rebuked the move last week, calling the redirection “insulting” and “unfair to communities.” State Republicans have said Gov. Brown is “picking winners and losers” with vaccine redirection and the prioritization of federal COVID-19 funds to Portland over rural Oregon.

“We will continue to advocate as vigorously as we can for the people of Lincoln County,” Lincoln County Commissioner Claire Hall said. “The state’s policy does not recognize that we have a large number of seniors in our communities, that this is a tourist county, and that we have many essential workers with regular contacts with locals and visitors. It is wrong for us to be punished for our success in getting shots in arms.”

“For us, being a rural and tourist community, it is critical to get our aging population and essential workers protected quickly. We had one of the largest outbreaks in the State this summer,” The letter reads. “We are constantly exposed to people who travel, many from States that don’t even have a mask policy. We are the least able to respond to these challenges as we are chronically under-staffed and under-funded.”

Lincoln County Mac

The Lincoln County Multi-Agency Coordinating Group (MAC) consists of the following:

Lincoln County Public Health

Lincoln County School District

Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office

Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital

Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital

Pacific West Ambulance

Oregon Coast Community College

North Lincoln Fire and Rescue

Newport Fire Department

In the letter, the MAC points out exceptional collaboration that has been stymied by getting zero doses of vaccine so metro areas can “catch up.” The group feels a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work, saying the all-for-one, one-for-all mindset now in place for the County and its partners is threatened by a loss of momentum due to no doses for an entire week.

The letter asks for a minimum amount of vaccines to keep momentum going:

“We can’t stress enough that local control, in collaboration with state agencies and leadership, leads to the productive progress we need to tackle the ongoing challenges our rural community is facing. We appreciate you rethinking this strategy and at least send us a minimum amount so as not to lose momentum and to keep morale up. These are challenging times for all us and we believe that our hard work and focus on protecting our community should be rewarded.”


Governor Brown and the Oregon Health Authority have not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Justin Werner
I'm publisher of Lincoln City Homepage. Also the web guy, photographer, cameraman, video editor, sportswriter, tech support, beat reporter, cat trainer and e-bike enthusiast. I have a passion for telling people's stories and keeping my fellow citizens informed.

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  1. Thank you Lincoln city for standing up for what is right. Why should Lincoln county be penalized for doing a great job of distributing the vaccine just because other countries are falling behind.

  2. I don’t remember “Liberals” attempting to stop the certification of Donald Trump in 2016. In fact I think I remember a concession speech from Hillary Clinton while all we have heard from Donald Trump is months of whining about how he really won.

    I guess people shouldn’t have voted for Dick Anderson as he certainly seems to be the politician that we got.

    As for the distribution of Vaccines, if Lincoln County has vaccinated all of group 1a but not all of that group has been vaccinated state wide then it does make sense to me to finish that group before moving onto the next group.

    My issue with the groups they way that they are defined is that some people automatically get put in certain groups because of their work, when in reality they are very low risk.

  3. I do wear a mask, I’ve got emphysema, and it’s so much fun trying to breathe.
    Whining about the election? I thought that was a profession invented
    by liberals.
    I’d love to force people to do what I want them to do, unfortunately, it’s illegal.

  4. Quit whining about the election, and get the folks who feel the way you do to at least wear masks without crying about their freedoms. That’s how you can help.

  5. Next time maybe you should vote differently, and we’d have better
    officials. It’s certainly not my fault. You got the government you deserve.
    You elect incompetent people, and expect competent decisions, what’s wrong
    with that equation?


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