PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — As pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna have released promising data on the effectiveness of their COVID-19 vaccines, thoughts now turn to distribution if and when it is finally approved.
The CDC asked all 50 states to share how they plan to distribute the vaccine and in mid-October the Oregon Health Authority submitted their draft plan (which has since been updated.)
OHA’s plan for distribution follows federal guidance for a phased approach. That means starting with vaccinations for critical groups, such as health care workers and those at the highest risk for getting very sick.
As more vaccine becomes available, wider distribution will follow to other high risk groups, and, lastly, the general public. Oregon is coordinating with counties to ensure consistency throughout the state.
They’re focused on equity, helping get the vaccine to the hardest-hit populations. They’re creating on-site clinics for long-term care facilities and developing a supplementary system that will use EMS partners to provide vaccinations as well as contracting nurses to vaccinate home-bound people.
The State of Oregon plans to partner with pharmacies for the general public and run large community vaccination events, too.
At this time, these vaccines have to be kept in ultra-cold temperatures. OHA is figuring out logistics like providing dry ice to providers who don’t have ultra-cold freezers.