Samaritan Health Services expects to receive a “very limited supply” of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the week and will hold an online question and answer seminar about vaccines Dec. 17.
Samaritan says they will get 1,950 doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine in a first shipment, followed by a second of similar size at the end of December. Weekly shipments will follow thereafter. The Moderna vaccine is expected by Christmas, pending FDA approval.
Samaritan has an ultra-cold freezer on the Good Samaritan Regional Campus in Corvallis and will transport the vaccine throughout its network of hospitals using dry ice to keep it at ultra-cold temperatures.
Health care workers, first responders and residents and staff of long-term care facilities will receive the vaccinations first, as directed by the Centers for Disease Control and Oregon Health Authority. As more vaccine is produced and made available, additional tiers prioritize those at the highest risk for the disease and essential workers followed by the younger and healthier general public in the final phases of distribution.
It has been estimated that it could be in the spring or later before the vaccine is more widely available. The Oregon Health Authority’s coronavirus vaccine website is the best resource for up-to-date information on vaccine distribution phases. Once coronavirus vaccines are widely available, Samaritan will work with its public and private partners to offer them to everyone in Benton, Lincoln and Linn counties.
Two doses of the vaccine are required about a month apart and can be accompanied by side effects of fever, headaches and muscle aches.
According to Samaritan, the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been shown to prevent COVID-19 infection in 94% of recipients.
Those interested in learning more about the vaccine can get questions answered with Infectious Disease Specialist and Coronavirus Task Force Chair Adam Brady, MD, of Samaritan Health Services. Anyone can register for the virtual seminar and join at noon Thursday, Dec. 17.