(Updated January 15, 2020)
We all want to return to normal life as soon as possible. Safe and effective vaccines are the key to how we will slowly but surely achieve community immunity from COVID-19.
While the introduction of a vaccine is good news, it does not end the pandemic. It is going to take time for the vaccine to be widely available and widely distributed here in Oregon.
Vaccine Eligibility and FAQ Tool
See Oregon Health Authority’s new online Vaccine Information Tool to determine whether your profession or circumstances qualify you for being vaccinated now. Scroll down to the Vaccine Sequencing section, click the "Let's get started" button, and the tool will appear in the lower-right of your screen.
Sign Up to Receive COVID-19 Vaccine Update Emails from Lane County
Sign up to receive email updates from Lane County Public Health about vaccine availability and distribution.
Vaccine Distribution Process
The federal government (Centers for Disease Control) and state government (Oregon Health Authority) are responsible for distributing vaccines to local agencies. State government (Oregon Health Authority) is responsible for prioritizing who gets the vaccine. Local hospitals, clinics, public health departments, and pharmacies are responsible for receiving their allotment and vaccinating people based upon the State's established criteria.
See the latest information from our state and local public health agencies:
It will take some time before every Oregonian who wants to get the vaccine can get their two shots.
Oregon, like other states, currently does not have enough vaccine to immunize everyone against COVID-19. The first people getting the vaccine are health care workers and people who live or work in long-term care facilities, such as skilled nursing facilities. OHA's data dashboard shows the total number of vaccines given to date in Oregon, and in Lane County specifically, based on these populations.
Lane County Public Health’s Current Vaccination Distribution Plan
See Lane County Public Health for the latest vaccination and notification plans by phase/group. These plans are based on guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.
Oregon's COVID-19 Vaccination Plan
The CDC asked all states to share a plan to distribute the vaccine. See Oregon’s draft plan:
- Oregon’s Draft Plan
- Oregon's Phase 1a Vaccine Prioritization Plan
- Phase 1a Vaccine Sequencing Plan: Frequently Asked Questions
Oregon's plan will adhere to the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ Ethical Principles for Allocating Initial Supplies of COVID-19 Vaccine:
- Maximize benefits and minimize harms
- Promote justice
- Mitigate health inequities
- Promote transparency
COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Community
OHA established a COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Community that represents a diverse group of community members to help ensure they distribute the vaccine in a fair and equitable way for all the people of Oregon.
Vaccines undergo rigorous scientific testing to ensure their effectiveness and safety.
The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were found to be over 94% effective and neither reported serious safety issues. The vaccines were tested in large-scale research, which included adults from all backgrounds.
Due to the global pandemic, both vaccines were tested in many more people than a typical vaccine trial: the Pfizer vaccine was tested in 43,000 people and the Moderna vaccine was tested in 30,000 people.
- COVID-19 Vaccine Facts – Oregon Health Authority
- Frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in Oregon – Oregon Health Authority
- Ensuring the Safety of COVID-19 Vaccines in the United States - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- COVID-19 Vaccines - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
While the introduction of a vaccine is good news, it does not end the pandemic. It is going to take time for the vaccine to be widely available and widely distributed here in Oregon. Until we vaccinate enough Oregonians to stop the spread of COVID-19, we are going to have to keep doing what we’re doing.
Continue to Practice the 4 Ws
- Wear a Face Covering – indoors and outside when you can’t maintain 6 feet of space, it’s a statewide requirement.
- Watch Your Distance – stay 6-feet apart from those outside your household and limit your gathering size.
- Wash Your Hands – often with soap and water for 20 seconds throughout the day.
- Wait It Out – stay home if you are sick.
Why would we continue wearing a mask, keeping distance, avoiding large gatherings and frequently washing our hands even after vaccines are available?
- We anticipate that federal and state requirements for the four basic public health measures (the 4 Ws) we are currently practicing will likely remain for the foreseeable future because it will take time for 70%t of our population to receive both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.
- While individuals who receive a vaccine will be protected from contracting the disease, experts project that (based on the reproductive number for this virus) we need 70% of the population to receive the vaccine before we will reach herd immunity. In Lane County, 70% of the adult population is 203,000 people (which means 406,000 shots need to be administered).
- Scientific research indicates that the vaccines being developed are highly effective at protecting people from contracting the disease, but it is still unknown whether the vaccines prevents transmission of the virus.
- So, it’s going to take time for us to safely and comfortably take our masks off.