Benton County makes sure ‘every shot counts’ with teen clinics

A teen-focused vaccination event in Benton County last week led to hundreds of teens getting vaccinated. Almost 500 people age 12 to 15 received a shot with hundreds of older teens rolling up their sleeves as well.  

Woman in mask stands behind table in booth
Benton County’s Mara Sargent running a booth at Teen Day

“Teen Day” took place at Reser Stadium, Benton County’s mass vaccination site and at a pop-up clinic at a nearby high school for students who may have encountered difficulty accessing the vaccination clinic at Reser Stadium.  

“We performed outreach to the local school districts who promoted the event,” said Lili’a Uili Neville, Joint Information Center manager for Benton County. The County also worked with several organizations that serve youth such as Jackson Street Youth Services, which houses teens experiencing houselessness, and Strengthening Rural Families. “We wanted to make sure we reached teens who wouldn’t be reached by school district communications,” Uili Neville explains.  

Attendees at Teen Day could enter a raffle for a Chromebook, Airpods and gift cards. Kids were invited to write on a graffiti board, answering questions such as “What are you most looking forward to when you’re fully vaccinated?”  

 Answers included:   

  • “Returning to in-person classes.”   
  • “Not wondering if a business is open.”   
  • “Traveling with my mom.”  

Twenty teens got their shots at the pop-up clinic at the nearby high school.  

Benton County currently has one of the highest vaccination rates in Oregon. “We aim to meet people where they are,” says Uili Neville. “Those twenty extra doses matter. Every shot counts at this point.” 

If you’ve recently been vaccinated and lost your vaccination card:

  • Contact the clinic where you got your vaccine
  • Ask your health care provider for a record
  • Follow the instructions on the ALERT IIS page
  • Call 211 for help in languages other than English

This article first appeared in the May 26, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.