Vaccine Voices: ‘It’s not every day you get your vaccine in a livestock barn’

Photo of a drive-through vaccine event in Union County. Cars are lined up and a rainbow is seen in the sky above.
Union County community members line up in their cars to receive COVID-19 vaccines, boosters.

Demand for COVID-19 vaccination has been so high in many counties that local public health authorities have had to get creative in meeting the needs of their communities.

“We were glad to have a very high turnout for the first vaccine clinic we offered after the Moderna boosters where approved,” said Carrie Brogoitti, Union County Public Health Administrator with the Center for Human Development (CHD) in La Grande, Oregon.

To better accommodate the expected volume for upcoming events, CHD partnered with Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to stand up vaccine events where people could drive through barns at Union County Fairgrounds to get vaccinated. “Thankfully we were able to quickly shift our upcoming events to the Union County Fairgrounds,” said Carrie, “and the first event went great!”

So far this month, during just two days, more than 500 people have driven through the fairground barns to receive vaccinations. Appointments are not required. During these large-scale clinics, more than 300 people received a COVID-19 vaccination and more than 200 people received booster doses. The next drive-through clinic is Thursday, Nov. 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will include the pediatric vaccine dose for children ages 5 through 11.

Photo of people in their cars receiving COVID-19 vaccinations in a large barn at the Union County Fairgrounds.
A drive-through vaccination clinic at the Union County Fairgrounds in La Grande.

The Fairgrounds location and additional support from OHA’s vaccination team made it easier to handle the volume and reduce the amount of time people had to wait to get vaccinated. “The response from the community was very positive” stated Brogoitti. “People were able to move through the process quickly.  And, it’s not every day you get your vaccine in a livestock barn!”

CHD is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides alcohol and drug, environmental health, mental health, public health, development disabilities, prevention and veterans services to the residents of Union County in Eastern Oregon. CHD is Union County’s local health department and community health program. CHD’s nurses, doctors, social workers, counselors and therapists are dedicated to the health and well-being of all those they serve.

You can find more information about CHD on its website or by calling 541-962-8800.

Visit Get Vaccinated Oregon to find a vaccine provider near you.