Dear OSU Community Members,
Oregon is in Phase 1a of the distribution sequence of vaccines for COVID-19 and is seeking to increase the rate of vaccination. Gov. Kate Brown recently announced that “Oregon is ready to devote all resources necessary to ramp up distribution with our healthcare partners.” The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Vaccine Advisory Group has recently convened and we expect it will continue to share developments related to statewide vaccine distribution. OSU will cooperate with OHA, county health authorities and health partners in advancing vaccination efforts. Please visit the COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon website for more information about the phases and to review frequently asked questions.
Vaccination Phase 1a at OSU:
OSU’s health care professionals, first responders and others designated by OHA and the local public health authority in Corvallis and Bend have been invited to receive their first dose of vaccine from their county health authority.
Subsequent vaccination phases:
OSU understands the vaccine will be made available to other categories of individuals with the beginning of Phase 1b, currently set to begin Jan. 25, 2021, pending the availability of vaccine. Recipients first in line for Phase 1b vaccinations are childcare and preschool employees, K-12 educators and school district staff. Subsequent priority groups will include seniors, frontline essential employees, those who have been disproportionately impacted by the virus, and individuals with certain underlying health conditions.
For OSU community members in Benton County, frontline essential workers are expected to include OSU employees who are currently required to work onsite to support operations essential to the delivery of university functions, such as housing and food service, research, education, and Extension activities. OSU will work closely with the local public health authority in Benton County and other counties where OSU operates to support the notification of eligible university employees.
In Deschutes County, the local public health authority currently says frontline critical workers include OSU employees who are required to work onsite to support operations essential to the delivery of university functions, such as housing and food service, custodial, facilities, information technology customer support, operations, research and education.
OSU support of vaccine distribution:
OSU is not designated to distribute vaccines directly to university employees or students, nor does the university have the discretion to determine who receives a vaccine when. OSU is providing input to state and local public health authorities regarding which employee roles and health conditions should be included in each phase of vaccine distribution. OSU’s position is that those who are at highest risk based on their onsite job duties, underlying health conditions, health equity considerations should be prioritized.
The University has offered to assist state and local health authorities in their vaccination efforts. OSU is planning to provide space and operational support on the Corvallis campus for the local public health authority’s anticipated mass vaccination clinic the week of Jan. 25, 2021. More information on location and eligibility for this clinic will be provided in the coming week. As other county plans are developed, OSU will continue to offer space and operational support. For additional information, please refer to OSU’s COVID-19 vaccine FAQ’s.
In closing, the University strongly encourages all members of the OSU community to take the COVID-19 vaccine when it is available per OHA’s distribution schedule. Vaccination and continued commitment to all currently advised public health measures is our best pathway to the return of in-person teaching, learning, research, and Extension and outreach.
Coronavirus Response Coordinator
Vice Provost for Student Affairs