Doses delayed as Oregonians 70-plus become eligible for vaccine


Vaccine shipments are delayed due to winter weather

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — While Oregon works nonstop to vaccinate seniors, the recent winter has created shipment delays all across the country.

People aged 70 and older are now eligible for the vaccine in Oregon, but the process could be hampered by shipment delays. According to the Oregon Health Authority, 67,000 Moderna vaccine doses are in limbo because of the recent winter weather seen in various parts of the country. The OHA told us they have no specific timeline from the CDC on when those doses will arrive — but they do expect them later this week.

The Biden administration addressed the backlog over the weekend.

“We’ve been able to get two million of those six million doses out,” Jen Psaki said. “We expect to rapidly catch up this week, fill that backlog, make sure they’re out to communities and also meet our deadlines and our timelines of the doses that are due to go out this upcoming week.”

Locally, in Lincoln County, public health officials alerted us that they found out their allotment of the Moderna vaccine for this week hasn’t even shipped from the production facility in Tennessee. They have no ETA for delivery.

Lincoln County was expecting 1,200 vaccines, a split of first and second doses for eligible people. Looking ahead, the OHA says next week’s shipments may be delayed as well — arriving closer to next weekend.

The full impact of these delays is yet to be seen — but it’s a hard setback in an already complicated system.

Oregon is in Phase 1B of its vaccine distribution plan. Childcare providers and teachers were the first to be eligible under this phase. People 70 and older are part of Group 4. Group 5, which includes people 65 and older will be eligible starting March 1.

Oregon vaccine supply is already limited, regardless of delays — which means it may take until April to everyone in vaccine groups 1-5, Oregon health officials said.

For Oregon, check your eligibility here, and for Washington, check here. Call 211 if you have more questions. You can also contact your doctor – however, hospitals have asked not to call them about vaccine eligibility.

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