What Do We Know About COVID-19 Vaccines?

Oregon has begun initial distribution of two COVID-19 vaccines to high-priority populations.

While the promise of these vaccines is great, we also know that it likely will take some time before vaccines are widely available to the general public.

Right now, with a limited supply of vaccine doses across the state, the Oregon Health Authority has prioritized front-line healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents who are at the highest risk from COVID-19 — what is called the “1A” group.

On Tuesday, the federal government announced it will release more doses to states, the CDC issued some additional guidance regarding priority groups, and Oregon Gov. Kate Brown said that people who work in childcare and preK-12 schools, as well as Oregonians age 65 and older, may begin receiving vaccines by Jan. 23, though the details and exact timing are not yet determined.

While Pacific University is exploring every avenue regarding vaccine availability, we are not currently a provider for vaccines and have no doses to administer. We are working closely with providers to help ensure all faculty, staff and students who fall into the “1A” category get vaccinated as quickly as possible, and we are continuing to develop flexible plans to prioritize distribution to our community in accordance with OHA’s rollout.

We will continue to communicate opportunities for faculty, staff and students to access vaccines from our community partners according to their eligibility. You can learn more about OHA’s phased plans here, and you may also receive more information from your healthcare provider. (Kaiser Permanente is providing regular updates to members. Regence, as an insurance company, is not a direct healthcare provider; look for information from your physician instead.)

Until vaccination is widespread, we all must continue to be diligent in stopping the spread of COVID-19 to protect ourselves and our neighbors and to reduce the burden on our healthcare systems.

Please remember that Washington, Lane and Marion counties — all home to Pacific campuses — remain in the “extreme risk” category under the current OHA guidelines.

This means that eating and drinking establishments, indoor entertainment, and indoor recreation and fitness locations are closed, including on the Pacific campus. Indoor and outdoor social gatherings are limited to a maximum of six people from no more than two households.

We continue to update our guidance for event planning based on the state guidelines. Please watch for more details to come here.

Undergraduate classes are online through the January term, and spring classes for all programs will return to a hybrid model — some online, some in person — under regulations for academic activities.

Thank you for continuing to follow public health guidance by practicing physical distancing of at least six feet, avoiding gatherings, wearing face masks in public, and washing your hands frequently.

All students and employees are reminded to continue monitoring your symptoms daily and completing any symptom attestations that are required by your programs. If you begin to experience symptoms of COVID-19, complete the Illness Registry and seek medical care from the Student Health Center or your primary care provider.

Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021