The first of millions of expected vaccine doses needed to extinguish the COVID-19 virus arrived in Oregon Monday, starting a process that could last into fall 2021.
The Oregon Health Authority issued a statement that the first doses of the vaccine manufactured by Pfizer arrived in the state at 7 a.m. Monday. Four facilities in or near Portland, along with a medical center in Ontario in Malheur County, will each receive 975-dose packages by Tuesday.
Oregon is slated to receive 35,100 doses this week. The remaining 30,225 Pfizer doses will go to unspecified hospitals later this week. Another 10,725 doses will go to unspecified skilled nursing facilities for vaccinations beginning next week.
"Today, I can tell you that help is here," said Governor Kate Brown in a statement.
The vaccine's initial arrival comes as the state, like most of the nation, has seen a steep rise in COVID-19 cases since September.
Through reports Sunday, there have been 93,853 positive cases of COVID-19 in Oregon and 1,155 deaths. Nationwide, there have been over 16.3 million cases and 300,267 deaths.
While a sign of hope, getting the vaccine to most of the more than 2.6 million estimated adults in the state is still a distant goal.