PENDLETON — Umatilla County now has a vaccination rate of about 40 percent after the state added 2,600 names of residents who were vaccinated elsewhere – most of them in Washington state. Board of Commissioners Chairman George Murdock says it’s likely the county will never get a completely accurate count, especially due to the period at the beginning when vaccine was in short supply.
“People went to Morrow County,” he said. “They went to Union County. We have people who were gone for the winter who got vaccinations.”
Murdock is hoping a community rewards program will inspire local vaccination efforts. The group behind the vaccination drive will receive no-strings-attached cash rewards if the zip code hits or surpasses a 60 percent vaccination rate.
“There are several communities – smaller communities – that are in easy reach of getting to 60 percent,” he said.
The zip-code based grants would see Meacham and Helix each earn $10, 910. The biggest prize would go to Hermiston which is eligible for $147,383 if it hits the magic mark. Any local club or community organization that plays an active role in achieving the 60 percent vaccination rate would receive funds