PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) - In a matter of weeks, Oregon expects to have more than 100,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.
Those would be from two companies, Pfizer and Moderna, assuming they're both approved by the FDA for emergency use.
"It really gives us all hope that we will get through this pandemic, that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, we're just having to be patient to wait our turn and get in line," Dr. Joe Sullivan, Senior Health Advisor for Oregon Health Authority said.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, here's what the timeline looks like right now.
First, these vaccines need to be approved for emergency use by the FDA.
For Pfizer, the committee advising on that meets Dec. 10, with the FDA expected to move quickly after that.
If approved, Oregon will receive 35,100 doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 15.
For Moderna, that advisory meeting is on Dec. 17.
If approved, Oregon will receive 71,900 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 22.
And more vaccines from both on Dec. 29, though the state doesn't know exactly how many yet.
"What we're focusing right now on is the hospitals and the EMS providers. Those people put themselves at risk every day caring for us and our loved ones," Sullivan said. "We're not just talking about the doctors and nurses. We're also talking about the people who register people, the people who clean the rooms, the people who maintain or provide transportation within the hospital."
After healthcare workers, the next priority group is those in long-term care facilities and their caretakers. These folks account for more than half of Oregon's COVID-19 deaths.
"It just makes sense," Sullivan said. "They're the ones who are filling the hospital beds; they're the ones who are dying."
Sullivan said next up will be essential workers to include, for example, teachers, transportation providers and food producers.
"We are committed to making this an equitable process across Oregon, urban, rural, rich, poor, but it's gonna be a bumpy process, right. I want you to know that this is not going to be smooth going. We've never done this before," he said.
He said as all of this gets figured out, people should be hopeful and trust the safety steps in place.
"A normal vaccine trial might have 5,000 people. These vaccine trials have had 30 to 45,000 people, some even 60,000 people, so the way that they've been able to do it quickly is they had a lot more people to look at."
He said the FDA had set high bars, and Oregon is one of four states with a scientific work committee to make sure every box is checked.
"I really think that this is an exciting time, and I know that there are a lot of people on the fence about these vaccines, but if they are as it appears, these are going to be safe and effective vaccines," Sullivan said.
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