On Friday, Dec. 17, Governor Brown urged Oregonians to get their Covid-19 booster vaccines, or if they aren’t yet vaccinated, to get the first vaccine dose as soon as possible.
The omicron variant is in our community now and is spreading quickly. This variant is more contagious than other strains of COVID that we have seen in Oregon and cases are expected to dramatically increase over the next several weeks.
Dr. Peter Graven, lead data scientist at OHSU Business Intelligence Unit, warned that even with the uncertainty in forecasting, every scenario modeled predicts that this surge will test the limits of our health care system with an estimated 1,200 hospitalizations in the first month of the surge.
The Governor challenged the state’s health systems to increase vaccination efforts because vaccination is still our best defense against COVID-19. Boosters and recent vaccines offer substantial protection against infection, even the omicron variant, and dramatically reduce the likelihood of being hospitalized and developing severe illness.
In response, Housecall Providers is doubling our vaccination efforts to more quickly to protect our homebound patients who need boosters or an initial vaccination. By adding a second team to provide in-home vaccination, we anticipate that we will reach up to 12 additional homes per week, where we can provide vaccination to homebound patients, their caretakers, and anyone else aged 18+ residing in the home.
“We join the chorus of health care professionals in urging every Oregonian who is able, to get vaccinated or a booster as soon as possible, to wear masks, and to avoid large indoor gatherings again this holiday season,” said Rebecca Ramsay, Housecall Providers CEO.
In addition to direct in-home vaccination, Housecall Providers has established partnerships across the region to assist with the vaccination efforts for homebound individuals and their caregivers, including such partners as: Clackamas county public health nurses, Genoa, getaflushot.com, @pharmacy, and Hillsboro pharmacies.
Health care professionals are working around the clock, but systems are stretched thin, and resources limited. The surge is likely to create delays in emergency departments and critical surgeries.
“We urge you to help us continue to care for the most at-risk Oregonians by getting vaccinated and following safety measures advised by the Oregon Health Authority. Together we can get through this,” says Ramsay.