Subject: Vaccine clinics to open for phase 1A, educators, and soon adults over 80

Updates from Dr. Biemer

News on the Coronavirus and vaccines

January 28th, 2021                    

Dear patients and friends,

A few updates this week. As of Monday January 25th, group one of phase 1B became eligible for vaccines. This includes K-12 educators and some other childcare providers. Additional information regarding groups two through five has also been released. If you are over 65, check the table below for when you can expect to become eligible. Groups and a timeline beyond that have not yet been established.

While this is progress, the vaccine is still in limited supply and the state is estimating that it will take between twelve and fifteen weeks to vaccinate all of phases 1A and 1B. Due to excessive request volume, the vaccine request form provided last week has been disengaged. Most counties are directing patients to the Oregon Health Authority FAQ and eligibility tool to get matched with a vaccine provider. These phases and sign up information are Oregon specific. If you are a Washington resident, check out this webpage for the Washington Department of Health for phase information and vaccination locations.

While we all wait patiently for the vaccine, there are some additional factors coming into play. Some good news is there has been a 35% decline in Covid cases nationally. This is the sharpest decline we have seen since the beginning of the Pandemic. Simultaneously, we have seen the spread of at least three COVID-19 variants in different parts of the world. Mutations in viruses are very common. What makes these variants notable is that their mutations appear to make them spread more quickly than previous versions. At this point it is not clear whether the disease caused by these variants is milder, more severe, or unchanged. Read more about this on the CDC's website.

The takeaway here is that we're heading in the right direction, but the pandemic is not over yet. Please maintain precautions like hand washing and social distancing. Also read this article from the Washington Post for some good advice on masking protocols moving forward. In short, consider wearing an N95 or double masking (one surgical, one cloth) for better protection.

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 


The vaccine is to be distributed as outlined by the OHA. *Please note that this phasing has already undergone significant change and is subject to continued adjustment.

Phase 1A - Eligible now*

  • Front-line healthcare workers

  • Tribal health programs

  • First responders

  • Individuals working in correctional settings

  • Public health workers

  • Death care workers

  • Residents of skilled nursing facilities, long term care facilities, adult foster homes, and other similar group living situations

  • Paid or unpaid care providers to medically fragile children or adults

  • Adults or 16+ children with medical condition or disability, receiving care at home

  • Healthcare providers who provide direct service to people with I/DD and other high-risk populations

Phase 1B - Eligibility staggered*

  • Group 1: K-12 educators and childcare providers (Jan 25th)

  • Group 2: Seniors 80 and older. (Feb 7th)

  • Group 3: Seniors 75 and older. (Feb 14th)

  • Group 4: Seniors 70 and older. (Feb 21st)

  • Group 5: Seniors 65 and older. (Feb 28th)

Use the vaccine eligibility tool on the Oregon Health Authority Website to determine whether you should sign up for a vaccine and get connected with a clinic. Washington residents please refer to the Washington Department of Health for more information.

If you have been vaccinated or get vaccinated please let us know so that we can keep this record in your chart.

Once eligible, how can I get a Covid vaccine?

The Oregon Health Authority Website is the most up to date source of information. If you believe you are eligible, use the eligibility tool on this site to be matched with a vaccination program (tool can be located with blue and white circle bottom right of the page).

Kaiser Vaccine waitlist signup

This sign up requires a valid email but Kaiser has also provided a phone option for those who do not have email. Per Kaiser instructions, please call 1-800-813-2000 (TTY 711) only if you are eligible. 

Oregon Health Authority information by County. Find a link to your each county's website here for specific information.

Oregon Convention Center is hosting a large scale vaccination clinic. For signup, use the OHA eligibility tool.

Vaccinations at the VA Veterans may have access to the vaccine on a slightly different schedule. Check to learn if you are an eligible veteran or caregiver for a veteran.

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 vaccine clinics, hospitals, and local public health agencies.

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