The Malheur County Health Department and Incident Command System team will begin administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine to people in the prioritized 1A group on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Those who are scheduled to receive the vaccine will spend about an hour at their appointment completing paperwork, receiving the injection, enrolling in the optional v-safe smartphone-based health checker, and being monitored for potential side effects.
Wednesday’s vaccine POD, or point of distribution, will accommodate roughly 110 first-dose recipients who will be scheduled to return for their second dose 28 days later. The Moderna vaccine is one of two COVID-19 vaccines being used under an Emergency Use Authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The other is manufactured by Pfizer-BioNTech. Both vaccines are in limited supply.
“We are working with our healthcare partners in the community to administer vaccine to as many people as we can so that we can achieve widespread vaccination as quickly as possible,” Malheur County Health Department Director Sarah Poe said. “If you are a healthcare worker, we want to make sure the vaccine is available to you. If you have not received a vaccine, call our office and get scheduled, 541-889-7279. Our goal is to host a vaccine POD every week, beginning this week, to administer what we have.” Poe said that as long as MCHD has the capacity to administer it, any vaccine received will go out into the community with prioritization based on guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.
“We know that guidance could shift as the state’s new COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee begins assessing and making recommendations. We have to be flexible and do everything we can to facilitate the process,” Poe said. Oregon’s COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee is made up of community representatives that will work with the Oregon Health Authority to determine who should be prioritized for future phases of vaccine distribution. As these plans are finalized, they will be communicated to the public.