The Timber Fire Station on June 17, 2017. Photo: Chas Hundley

Washington County's Mobile Vaccine Team is taking a trek to Timber to offer a COVID-19 vaccination clinic Friday, August 27 from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Timber Fire Station.

The clinic at the fire station (60900 NW Cochran Road) will offer the two-dose Pfizer vaccine and the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to the county’s mobile vaccine team schedule. A $50 gift card—the county did not specify to where—will be offered as an incentive to those who receive a vaccine. 

Those ages 18 and older are eligible for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, while those ages 12 and up can receive the Pfizer vaccine offered at the clinic.

The clinic and others scheduled in Banks will return about three weeks after their first date to offer the second dose of the Pfizer vaccine, Washington County Public Health spokesperson Mary Sawyers said in an email to the Banks Post.

Several clinics in Banks have also been scheduled, one on Tuesday, August 24 at Jim’s Market from 5 to 7 p.m. and another at Jim’s on September 15 at the same times, to allow for a three-week period to pass between Pfizer doses. A $50 gift card to Jim’s Market, formerly known as Jim’s Thriftway, will be offered to vaccine recipients.

On the same day as the Timber clinic, the county’s mobile team will be offering Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines at the Banks Fire District headquarters (13430 NW Main Street) from 12 to 2 p.m., with a $50 gift card offered as an incentive. 

It’s the first time the county's mobile vaccine clinic has scheduled a stop in a rural unincorporated community in western Washington County since the mobile team was created. Until now, residents in Timber—which has no public transit— located at the eastern edge of the Tillamook State Forest, would have to drive at least 20 minutes to find the nearest available vaccine in Columbia County’s Vernonia, or further to stay in-county. 

Sawyers said that efforts have been made to reach the county's westernmost communities in the form of canvassers, noting that the county has reached out to the Manning, Buxton, Timber, and Banks areas.

"The canvassers are people on our staff who go out in neighborhoods and make sure people are aware of the mobile events, educate people about vaccinations and answer questions," Sawyers said.

Washington County boasts the fourth-highest rate of people who have received at least one dose of a vaccine at 65%, according to the Oregon Health Authority, but most rural western Washington County zip codes lag far behind the eastern, urban half of the county. 

According to the Oregon Health Authority, the zip code many Timber residents reside in, 97144, currently has a vaccination rate of 55.6%, meaning more than half of the zip code’s 117 people have received at least one dose of a vaccine as of Wednesday, August 18, according to the Oregon Health Authority. 

Other rural western Washington County zip codes have significantly lower vaccination rates. Neighboring Gales Creek zip code 97117 has a vaccination rate of 46%, while nearby Buxton’s 97109 has the second-lowest vaccine rate in the county at 40.3%, barely edged out by the 97125 zip code shared by Manning and Hayward residents at 40.2%. The 97116 zip code, which includes the city of Forest Grove and several rural areas made up of Gales Creek, Verboort, Timber, and Glenwood areas, has a vaccination rate of 62.5%. Banks’ 97106 zip code, which includes the city and parts of the communities of Hayward, Manning, Buxton, and Mountaindale, has a vaccination rate of 54%. Gaston, Laurelwood, and Cherry Grove’s 97119 clock in at 53.9%. 

More information on vaccines in Washington County can be found on the Washington County Health and Human Services website.