Covid vaccine arrives in Marion County. What questions do you have?

Lane Hawkes, emergency room nurse, receives a Covid vaccine at Salem Hospital on Dec. 17 (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)

Covid vaccines are rolling out to health care workers and long-term care facilities around Oregon, with nearly 15,000 people vaccinated to date.

Locally, Salem Health began offering vaccines to workers in contact with Covid patients on Dec. 17. Santiam Hospital received its first shipments days before Christmas, enough to vaccinate the entire hospital staff, said Dr. Steve Vets, the emergency department director.

In Marion County, 1,199 people have received a vaccine, and in Polk County, 375, according to Oregon Health Authority. 

It will be months before either of the two vaccines currently approved by the federal government for emergency use are widely available to Oregonians. The current phase, which includes most health care workers and long-term care facility residents and employees, is expected to last through January. 

The state hasn’t yet detailed how it will prioritize the next round of vaccinations, which are expected to go to essential workers and people 75 and older starting in February.

We know the public has many questions – about how the vaccine was developed and tested, how it’s being made available, and what our world will look like as more people get vaccinated.

Send Salem Reporter your questions about the Covid vaccine and its rollout. We’ll assemble responses to common queries relying on local doctors and public health experts and publish them in early January.

Send your questions to [email protected].

Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.

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