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Health and Medicine

The First Batches Of COVID-19 Vaccines Arrive In California And Oregon

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The first COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Oregon and California. Most local hospitals expect their first batch sometime this week.

About 327,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine have reportedly arrived in California. According to the Oregon Health Authority, over 35,000 doses are being distributed to hospitals across Oregon.

Frontline workers and residents of long-term care facilities in both states are first in line to get the vaccine.

Dr. Jim Shames is Jackson County's medical director.

“The plan is that these very cold storage vaccines are going to go to some of our hospitals who have the capacity to receive them and they are going to turn around and vaccinate their staff -- the people on the front lines -- with the first doses that come in,” Shames says.

Hospitals in Humboldt County received nearly one thousand doses on Monday for frontline workers at high-risk. Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford is receiving their first batch of vaccines as early as Thursday. Other hospitals in the region expect to get theirs within days.

Shames says finally getting the vaccine is very encouraging.

“I feel from what I’ve read that the vaccine is very effective and very safe," says Dr. Shames. "There’s truly a lot we don’t know, and a lot that we’re going to learn, but I certainly would not hesitate to get vaccinated when my turn comes.”

The vaccine, created by pharmaceutical company Pfizer, is reportedly 95% effective. It’s a two-dose vaccination process; the second dose is expected to be shipped later this month.