COVID-19 Update: Vaccination Distribution Q & A
It is a momentous time this holiday season as the COVID-19 vaccine has recently begun arriving in Oregon. We are posting this to address some immediate questions we know many of you have.
Can You Have The Vaccine Now?
The distribution and allocation of the vaccine are under the direction of the Oregon Health Authority. As much as we would like to give all of our AIM Health patients the vaccine now, we cannot do so. We, along with all medical providers, are under the direction of the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).
Who Can Get the Vaccine First?
Right now the vaccine is being given only to frontline healthcare workers in hospitals and long-term care facilities, as per the 1a allocation plan set forth by the OHA. This will extend at least into January. You can view the 1a plan. Click here.
Can We Get a Prescription or Be Included on a Vaccine List?
At this time, we do not have a list of patients waiting for the vaccine and we cannot provide a prescription for the vaccine as it is not yet available to the general public. We will let you know where to go and how to get the vaccine as we learn more from the OHA. There is limited information to share because the OHA is still developing plans to distribute the vaccine at this time. We will notify you by MyChart, newsletter, and with updates on our website as soon as we have any new information.
Who is the Next Group to Be Vaccinated?
The next vaccine recipients after frontline healthcare workers will include
essential workers, vulnerable individuals with chronic health conditions, and adults over 65. The OHA has not yet provided clarity on when and how the vaccine will be given to these individuals, nor has there been a specific time frame announced for when healthy Oregonians under age 65 will be able to receive the vaccine. We have detailed some of what has been released about vaccine distribution in past newsletter updates. You can access the content here:
How Much Does the Vaccine Cost?
Federal authorities have said the vaccine will be distributed at no cost. Some vaccination providers may charge an administration fee to administer the shot, however, that will be covered by insurance or by government programs for those with no insurance. Medicare also released a statement that Medicare covers the COVID-19 vaccine, so there will be no cost to Medicare recipients. If anyone asks you to share your Medicare Number or pay for access to the vaccine, assume it is a scam. Click here for the link.
We wish we had more answers at this time. We are following this closely and assure you that we will contact you as soon as we know more.
Wishing you and your loved ones a peaceful and healthy holiday. Please remember to continue social distancing and wearing your masks. We are on the home stretch with COVID and hope you all remain vigilant, healthy, and optimistic.
Dr. Gillcrist and the AIM Health Team