Oregon begins distributing the COVID-19 vaccine


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A picture of a Covid-19 vaccine. Currently, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are being distributed to Oregonians.

The Covid-19 pandemic has been around for almost a full year. At this time, many people want everything to be back to normal so they can live their lives — traveling, hanging out with friends and family, and even going back to school or work. On December 14th, the United States started a new beginning as the first Covid-19 vaccine was given to a nurse in New York. Now, many states, including Oregon, have begun their vaccination process. 

The companies of Pfizer and BioNTech, as well as Moderna, have developed covid vaccines that are currently being distributed across the U.S. These vaccines contain messenger RNA, otherwise known as mRNA, that gives our cells instructions on how to form a “spike protein” (which are found on surfaces of viruses that cause Covid-19). Our immune system then recognizes that the protein doesn’t belong in our body. Our bodies then make antibodies to create an immune response. Just like other vaccines, our bodies will learn how to protect themselves against infections in the future.

Concerns about the vaccine include safety and effectiveness. Before vaccines are even out to the public, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) require testing to make sure it’s ok for many people to receive. Ten of thousands of people from different ages and backgrounds, including Oregonians, were part of these studies. The FDA had enough information from these tests to approve the Covid-19 vaccines.

Distribution throughout the state of Oregon has been set into different phases. As of today, Oregon is in phase 1a. Phase 1a prioritizes Health care personnel and Long-Term Care Facility residents to receive either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Future Phase 1 will start to vaccinate critical workers, those 65 years old and older, and those who are at high risk for COVID-19 because of underlying medical conditions.

At first, Oregon was a bit delayed behind other states to start vaccinating people. But more and more people are starting to be able to receive the vaccine. According to a chart on the Oregon Health Authority Covid-19 updates website, as of the last update on January 6th, there have been 66,923 doses have been administered, and 65,916 people have been vaccinated.

To stay informed about Oregon’s Covid-vaccine news and updates, visit the Oregon Health Authority’s Covid-19 updates website. In the meantime, Oregonians are advised to continue wearing a mask, practice social distance, and stay safe.