Oregon health officials now anticipate receiving at least three times as many initial doses of the COVID-19 vaccine as announced just a week ago. The availability will depend on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration giving special, emergency use authorization for two new vaccines.
Joe Sullivan, an Oregon Health Authority senior health adviser said Wednesday it’s expecting to receive approximately 35,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 15 and then another 71,900 doses from Moderna on Dec. 22.
“Both of those manufacturers have said that they will give additional doses around or on Dec. 29 or thereabouts but those numbers are a little more shaky as far as the exact number,” Sullivan said.
These first vaccines have been earmarked for health care professionals. The number of doses far exceeds the 30,000 that OHA said last week it was expecting to get in December. The 100,000 doses are enough to give about one-third of the state’s health care workforce the first of two doses they’ll need to be protected against COVID-19. Sullivan said Oregon will get enough doses to provide the second shots to all 100,000 of those who received a first round, “and then we’ll also vaccinate the rest of the health care workers in January.” T
Oregon is prioritizing health care workers — nurses, doctors and others working with or near COVID-19 patients for the first available vaccinations. The state has cautioned that it will take months before doses will be available to vaccinate members of the general public.
Patient trials have shown both vaccines to be 95% effective after receiving the second dose.
In addition to the federal emergency approval process, Oregon will conduct a joint safety review of the vaccines with other Western states before distributing any vaccine.