PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Gov. Kate Brown and state health leaders are planning to announce on Tuesday new guidelines for re-opening schools — but as of Monday afternoon the state has not received any new shipments of the coronavirus vaccine.
Last week, Brown announced Oregon teachers and school staff will start getting the COVID vaccine next Monday, January 25. As some schools prepare to re-open — bringing groups of children in for a couple hours each day — none of those children will have been vaccinated.
The current vaccines have not been fully tested and approved yet for children. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for those 16 and older, with the Moderna vaccine OK’d for those 18 and above. Drug companies are still recruiting parents to allow their children to be in COVID vaccine studies underway in other states.
Keep in mind, adults get the second dose of the vaccine 3 to 4 weeks after the first shot. If some teachers get that first shot January 25, they will not have received the second shot by the time children would be in a classroom February 15 or earlier.
Doctors say the shot takes about 2 weeks to generate an immune response. While one shot gives protection, it’s not as effective as having 2 doses.
Overall, there are about 100,000 Oregonians in the teacher-and-staff group, including daycare staff.
So far, Oregon has vaccinated about 200,000 people since mid-December — and there are still tens of thousands of health care workers who need their first shot.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.