Subject: Covid Vaccine, what we know so far...

Vaccine news from Dr. Biemer

Updates on the Coronavirus vaccine

January 12th, 2021                    

Dear patients and friends,

If you've been following the news, you've likely seen that the federal government has changed course and released the full reserve of vaccines. The CDC has also changed guidance to advise vaccination of all those 65 and over in the first wave. This does not automatically impact the state-level distribution sequence, but we do hope to see additional vaccines becoming available soon to a wider audience.

In the mean time, Vaccines are currently being given to the individuals who fall into "Phase 1A," as defined by the Oregon Health Authority. This generally includes health care workers and long term care facility residents. To give you an idea of where that puts us in the process, OHA expects to vaccinate between 300,000 to 400,000 Oregonians in this phase. To date, just over 100,000 Oregonians have been vaccinated.

If that sounds like a drop in the ocean, you're not wrong. We are off to a slow start. Logistical challenges, storage concerns, and Covid distancing protocols have all been hurdles in distribution efforts. The good news? Pressure is mounting and pretty much every health care system in Oregon is on the task of improving this system. We expect to see the rate of vaccination increase over the next few weeks. We also expect to see more vaccination clinics open to eligible groups in the near future.

If you are included in phase 1A and are not able to be vaccinated through your place of employment, we are aware of one open vaccine clinic located in Salem at the Oregon State Fairgrounds. Here are instructions and eligibility information. Notably, this event was shared with us by a patient. As usual, we recognize that we have a broad and diverse group of patients with an equally broad array of connections. If you hear of a resource that we have not yet shared please reach out to us so we can spread the word.

What does this mean for you, your friends, your family? At this point Oregon Health Authority plans to work through group1A and then carry on with additional groups 1B, 1C, and beyond. These include critical workers, older adults, people in group living situations, and those with underlying conditions.

I hope this update finds you well. Stay tuned for information as we learn more.


Dr. Biemer, Julia Jones and the whole office crew

COVID-19 Vaccine Information 

(source Oregon Health Authority)


The vaccine is to be distributed as outlined by the OHA. Please note that this is subject to change*, particularly in light of new federal guidance.

1A. Includes health care workers with direct exposure to COVID-19 in their work as well as long term care facility employees and residents*

1B and 1C. Essential workers as defined by OHA and CDC, older adults, those with preexisting conditions

Read here for a detailed chart of sequencing.

Our Practice

It is not obvious yet when the vaccine will be available to our clinic for distribution. In addition to careful state level oversight of distribution, there are currently storage specifications that would prove challenging to small clinics (the Pfizer vaccine, for example, is stored at -70 degrees Celsius). For the time being, vaccinations will be distributed through hospitals and local public health agencies. We will let you know as soon as we know more about this.

Vaccine Resource


Oregon Health Authority Bulletin from Jan 11th

This update has some good information on vaccine sequencing

OHA Vaccine tracker

This page tracks how many Oregonians have been vaccinated and gives general updates

Washington County Vaccine Resource page

We hope to see the information on this page grow more robust as additional vaccination clinics open

Multnomah County Vaccine Resource page

We hope to see the information on this page grow more robust as additional vaccination clinics open

A note on Covid

While temporary orders and state mandates have proved relatively successful here in Oregon, the virus is still circulating widely. With an end in sight, it is not time to let your guard down. Here are some suggestions...

  • DO consider scheduling regular follow ups and annual exams virtually. Preventive care goes a long way toward keeping you healthy and we will do our best to make the virtual experience smooth and comfortable.

  • DO carry on following precautions, wearing a face mask, hand washing, and maintaining physical distance.These are proven methods of reducing risk to you and your loved ones.

  • DO NOT assume that negative covid testing is a replacement for safe habits during the holidays. There are still some false negatives, and covid has a long incubation period during which an infected person might test negative.


Stay safe

Stay healthy

Some useful links...

Here is a list of Covid testing sites compiled by Washington County. Although the list was compiled in Washington county, many of the listed resources are available to the greater Portland area. Here is the Oregon Health Authority Testing Map.

Never hesitate to contact us

James J. Biemer Jr. MD

9135 SW Barnes Rd. Suite 863

Portland, OR 97225

(p) 503-384-0316

(f) 503-416-8145