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Where are the COVID-19 vaccines?

Supplies of the vaccines remain unstable, but with the Moderna vaccine expected to arrive in the next few weeks, Asante has resumed scheduling employees for their first and second doses.

Asante opened COVID-19 vaccinations to all employees last month anticipating regular shipments of the Pfizer vaccine. Promised federal supplies never arrived, however, delaying vaccines for thousands of people in Oregon, including Asante employees. (Last week’s mass vaccination events were limited to those due for their second dose.)

Asante is now counting on shipments of the Moderna vaccine, expected to arrive locally within the next few weeks. Moderna uses the same mRNA technology as Pfizer and is nearly 95% effective.

“We will start scheduling first doses again in March,” said Holly Nickerson, vice president of Quality and Patient Safety. “We’re hoping we can do 1,400 vaccines a week.”

Employees may once again schedule vaccination appointments in advance by phone or through MyChart. To schedule by phone, call (541) 789-2813 and select “Option 2.” Scheduling hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Scheduling is not available outside these times.

Nickerson cautions that vaccine distribution remains unstable and it’s possible that scheduled appointments may be canceled if supplies don’t arrive.

“The state is trying to make a more predictable model that will tell us what our allocations will be,” she said. “But those allocations are still based on us getting supplies.” Winter storms have delayed vaccine shipments in some parts of the United States.

Employees are encouraged to schedule appointments anyway in case Asante receives vaccines from other locations that have excess supply.

Are you vaccine savvy?

You will be after watching Dr. Kirsten Schutte’s webinar, “Mythbusting COVID-19 Vaccines,” and an explanatory video by Dr. Carl Seger, who participated in the Moderna clinical trial.

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