LONG BEACH - Because of "significant" budget cuts, the Pacific County Health Department will no longer provide immunizations at its offices. Kathy Spoor, supervisor of the department, said it was her decision to cut the immunizations from her office's services. Her office in South Bend stopped the service in April.
"We are looking at fairly significant budget cutbacks," Spoor said Tuesday. "That means looking at the services we provide and making choices about what to cut. Of all the choices, cutting the immunization program is the least painful." She said private health care providers are "teamed up to do the immunizations" and they'll be available at the Ocean Beach Medical Clinic and Family Health Center at North Beach in Klipsan Beach.
Arlene Lavigne, clinic manager at the North Beach facility, said her office hopes to be able to begin providing immunization services in October for tetanus, influenza, polio, measles/mumps/rubella, chicken pox and hepatitis B. Those are the shots needed by children to be admitted to school. Most kids had their immunization shots before school started, but people moving into the district will need to go to local clinics.
Spoor said the county provides the clinics with vaccines at a reduced rate. She said most of the counties in the state are already "out of the business" of providing the immunizations and they're part of routine treatment during well-child visits to the doctor. Most clinics provide a sliding scale for payment for the shots and they're still available at the Clatsop County Health Department in Astoria.
The department isn't out of the woods as far as more budget cuts are concerned. "We're looking at further cuts still," Spoor said.