Oregon Health Authority's FAQ Regarding Vaccines and COVID-19

The Oregon Health Authority has released a lengthy list to answer the incalculable questions regarding the coming vaccine and COVID-19. We have listed some of their answers below, but please click here to see the whole document. Please also visit OHA's website for more information.

Q4. How soon after the second dose will the vaccine become effective?
A4. Clinical trials measured the effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccines. Each vaccine
requires two doses.
• The Moderna vaccine is 94% effective two weeks after a person receives the
second shot. The Pfizer vaccine is 95% effective one week after the second

Q5. Will I still need to wear a mask after I get the COVID-19 vaccination?
A5. The vaccine will keep you from getting sick, but it still may be possible to get,
carry and transmit the virus. Preventing illness and severe illness is certainly a
reason to get vaccinated. It will also take time for us to get everyone vaccinated.
We don’t yet know when we’ll be able to stop wearing masks and maintaining
physical distance, but OHA will continue to watch the spread of the disease in
Oregon. When the spread of disease is low enough, these additional protective
measures can be stopped.

Q6. How much will it cost for me to get the COVID-19 vaccination?
A6. For now, vaccine doses will be given to everyone at no cost.

Q7. Will there be enough COVID-19 vaccine for everyone?
A7. The vaccine may be scarce at first, so distribution will be prioritized. But as
COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing ramps up, eventually there will be enough
vaccine for everyone. This timing depends upon how many vaccines are approved
and the total supply of vaccine available through manufacturers. We hope by fall
2021, everyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccination can get one.

Q8. How will Oregon ensure equitable vaccine distribution?
A8. As COVID-19 vaccine becomes available, Oregon Health Authority (OHA) will
ensure the distribution process is based on community involvement that will
provide an equitable system challenging the roles of power, privilege and racism—
informed by a newly assembled COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee (VAC).
The individuals who may receive vaccinations in Phase 1a are specified in
Oregon’s Phase 1a Vaccine Sequencing Plan which can be found on the OHA
COVID-19 vaccine website: https://covidvaccine.oregon.gov.

Q9. How will Oregon implement Phase 1a?
A9. Oregon’s Phase 1a Vaccine Sequencing Plan can be found on OHA’s
COVID- 19 vaccine website: https://covidvaccine.oregon.gov

Q10. Will OHA force me to get a COVID-19 vaccination?
A10. OHA does not plan to require the COVID-19 vaccination, but we do strongly
recommend vaccination for the safety and health of the entire community.
OHA 2390U (1/22/2021) 3

Vaccine distribution in Oregon
Q1. When will the COVID-19 vaccine be available in Oregon?
A1. COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Oregon on Dec. 15, 2020. The first rounds of
doses are going to health care workers who are exposed to COVID-19 through
their work. This includes people who work in hospitals or EMS staff. Also, people
who work or live in long-term care facilities are included in the first round.

Q4. Who decides which workers will get the vaccine first?
A4. OHA is committed to an equitable distribution of vaccine. OHA’s community
engagement team assembled a COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Committee to listen to
community members and provide input on how to prioritize vaccine distribution. This
committee will identify and prioritize which critical workers will receive vaccine first,
knowing that, in time, there will be enough vaccine for everyone who wants one.

Q5. I am an education worker. When will I get vaccinated?
A5. Child-care and K-12 school and school district staff will be in the first group of
Phase 1b, after Phase 1a is complete. Information on where and when to get
vaccinated will be provided as soon as it is available.

Vaccine details:
Q1. I’ve already had COVID-19 and recovered. Do I still need to get vaccinated
with a COVID-19 vaccine when it’s available?
A1. According to the CDC, COVID-19 vaccination should be offered to people
regardless of a history of COVID-19 infection, with or without symptoms. They
don’t recommend testing to check for prior infection when deciding to get the

Q2. I’m pregnant. Can I get a COVID-19 vaccination?
A2. CDC doesn’t have any COVID-19 safety data on pregnant women, though
animal and human studies are ongoing, and more are planned to begin in
Jan. 2021. mRNA vaccines are not “live virus” vaccines. If a woman is part of a
group (i.e., health care worker) recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine and is
OHA 2390U (1/22/2021) 5
pregnant, she may choose to get the vaccine in consultation with her medical
provider’s help in making an informed decision. Things to consider:
• Level of COVID-19 in the community and the risk of transmission
• The personal risk of acquiring COVID-19 (occupation or other activities)
• The risk of COVID-19 to her or her fetus
• The efficacy of the vaccine
• The side effects of the vaccine
• The lack of data about the vaccine during pregnancy
• Women who take the vaccine and have fever as a side effect should take
acetaminophen (Tylenol)
• Routine testing for pregnancy before vaccination is not recommended

Q3. Are the vaccines interchangeable?
A3. Though Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made the same way, people must
get the same second dose from the same manufacturer of the first. Both are
equally effective and stop the spread of virus in the same way, so the people
should take whichever vaccine is available to them.

Q4. Is the COVID-19 vaccine a live virus?
A4. The mRNA vaccines are not a live virus.

Q8. When should I get the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine?
How will I remember?
A8. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine require two doses to promote a full
immune response. The second dose of the Pfizer vaccine should be administered
21 days after the first dose, and the Moderna vaccine should be administered 28
days after the first dose. The ALERT IIS vaccine system will help make sure you
get a reminder.

Q9. Can a person receive the COVID-19 vaccine while they are sick?
A9. Those with mild illness may receive the vaccines with no effect on vaccine
safety or effectiveness. However, it is better that you recover from your illness, with
no symptoms, before getting vaccines to keep from spreading your illness to health
care workers who are administering the vaccine.

Q10. If one spouse or partner qualifies for a vaccine (i.e., over 65, doctor, nurse)
would the other spouse who does not fit qualification criteria also get the
A10. No. There will be very limited quantities of the vaccines in the early days of
distribution, so only those who are in priority groups in the first phases, such as
health care workers, identified workers, older adults and those with underlying
medical conditions will be able to receive the vaccines.

Q11. Are both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine the same amount? Is the second
dose less or more than the first dose?
A11. Both doses are the same amount for the Pfizer vaccine. The Moderna
vaccine also uses two doses that are the same.

Q15. Do I need to be vaccinated in the same county I live in? Or work in?
A15. If you are eligible to receive a vaccination, you are encouraged to get
vaccinated in the county you live in but you can get vaccinated in any county in