PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Oregon Health Authority says the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Oregon on Monday.
The Legacy Research Institute in Northeast Portland was the first facility to receive a box of the Pfizer vaccine early Monday. A second box went to the Legacy Meridian Park site in Tualatin. Each facility received 975 doses.
On Tuesday, the Oregon Health & Science University Pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente’s Airport Way Center in Portland and St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario are each expected to receive a 975-dose package. The remaining 30,225 doses will be distributed to various hospitals in the state throughout the rest of the week.
Health care workers, who will be the first to receive the vaccine, won’t be getting it for a few days. On Friday, Gov. Kate Brown said 100,000 health care workers will likely receive the vaccine by the end of the year.
Oregon is expected to receive 147,000 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna by the end of the year.
Hospitals around the state have been preparing for the arrival of the vaccines. OHSU Pharmacy Services has five ultra-cold freezers, as does Kaiser Permanente.
Officials at Providence, OHSU, Kaiser Permanente and PeaceHealth told KOIN 6 News they expect to receive their first shipments of doses Tuesday or Wednesay. The VA Hospital expects to have 2900 doses arriving on Wednesday
The Moderna vaccine could be approved by the FDA this week and officials said doses of that vaccine could start going out to state by the end of the week.
Transporting the vaccine
Moving the vaccines is a logistical challenge because it needs to be stored at -94 degrees. The Oregon Health Authority said the state will receive 35,100 doess during the first week.
Dominic Chan, the clinical coordinator for Legacy, reminds everyone that this is just the beginnning and having patience with this extraordinary process is very important.
“We know there’s a lot of anxiety associated with the low numbers. I want to emphasize don’t lose hope,” Chan said. “This is what hope looks like and we will get people vaccinated who want the vaccine.”
Governor Brown applauded the effort
“The first shipments of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine have arrived in Oregon, the first of many that will be distributed across the state. Starting with the frontline health care workers who have been our first line of defense against COVID-19 since the beginning of the pandemic, and the long-term care facility residents who are among the most vulnerable, each day, more and more Oregonians will be vaccinated against this disease,” she said.