Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue is offering COVID-19 vaccinations at the Clackamas Community College Wilsonville campus every Wednesday. Appointments at this location are provided by the Clackamas County Health Authority, and appointments can be made on the Clackamas County website as well as the Get Vaccinated Oregon website. The CCC Wilsonville location administers, on average, 1,300 vaccines each day and offers the Moderna variant of the vaccine. Everyone who receives a vaccine at this location is automatically signed up for their second dose.
The Wilsonville vaccination site is staffed primarily by firefighters with Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue as well as the Washington County Medical Reserve Corps of Registered Nurses. While Firefighters administer vaccines and move people through the lines, the nurses work as vaccine administrators, each drawing around 66 vaccines per hour. Their combined work allows for roughly 150 to 180 vaccinations every hour, a remarkable number given the size of the vaccination site.
The Clackamas Print spoke with Captain Peter Godon of Tualatin Valley Fire and Rescue, who explained the challenges of getting people vaccinated. Godon said that while wait times at the Wilsonville campus are only 10 to 15 minutes, he and his team are limited by the size of the campus. Patients must be socially distanced while moving through lines, getting their vaccine, and while waiting during their observation period. With six feet between every person, at each point of the process, space runs out fast.
Godon said, “With the state opening it up to everyone, which is wonderful, it’s just really difficult for people to get vaccinated.”
Godon also explained the challenges with getting the vaccines in the first place. Recent reports of blood clots with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, as well as past manufacturing issues “have really hindered us as far as what we are able to get,” said Godon.
There have also been complications with the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, as each need to be stored in freezing temperatures prior to being used. Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue does have the freezers necessary to store the vaccines, “so, as of a few weeks ago, the state is actually shipping direct allotments (of the vaccine,)” Godon said. “Getting the vaccine has still been a problem, we’re going week by week, we don’t know how much we’re gonna get the following week.”