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Doctors respond to 'historic' first doses of vaccine landing in Oregon

Two legacy health hospitals in the Portland area were the first to get the vaccine this morning.

Posted: Dec 14, 2020 8:02 PM
Updated: Dec 15, 2020 11:30 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- Help has arrived in the fight against coronavirus.

More than 35,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine arrived in Oregon Monday, putting us well on our way to reach Gov. Kate Brown's goal of having 100,000 people vaccinated by the end of the month.

Two legacy health hospitals in the Portland area were the first to get the vaccine this morning. They each received 975 doses. By tomorrow, about 5,000 doses will have been delivered to Portland area hospitals.

The doses are shipped directly from the factory to the hospitals, and the remaining 30,000 or so will be arriving this week.

PeaceHealth Oregon will be receiving 975 doses of the vaccine. More than 6,000 doctors and physicians in the PeaceHealth network are deemed priorities for receiving the vaccine.

Each one of those doses, however, is going into the arm of a caregiver in either the COVID-19 or emergency departments. 

As we know, you need two doses of this vaccine, but they are not holding it for a second dose.

Dr. James McGovern, vice president of medical affairs for PeaceHealth Oregon, said while the hype exceeds that of any other vaccine, the process to get it injected is the same as any other.

"They wipe it with alcohol, the needle goes in the arm and they inject it," said McGovern. "There is a 15-minute observation period after this so as we, you know with masking and social distancing, as we move through the vaccination process we will need to keep them close by and watch them for 15 minutes." 

"I think 2020 has been a historical year for many of us, but having this vaccine come out as quickly as it has really is a historical moment for all of us. It's not the end, but it's definitely the beginning of the end." said McGovern.

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