By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

County gets extra-cold freezer from university

Linfield University has donated one of the freezers from its biology lab to Yamhill County Public Health for storing the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine when it arrives. The vaccine must be kept in ultra-cold conditions, -70 degrees Celsius, which is colder than standard freezers can achieve.

“We are grateful for the wonderful partner Linfield University has been throughout the COVID-19 event and their willingness to share this much needed asset,” said County Health and Human Services Director Lindsey Manfrin in a press release. “This is one more example of our great community working together.”

The Oregon Health Authority reported Monday that the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine have begun arriving in the state.

The OHA said in a press release that Legacy Health is the first registered provider in the state to receive the vaccine, made by Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE. The health system’s Holladay Park site in Portland and Meridian Park location in Tualatin each took delivery of one package of 975 doses Monday around 7 a.m.
Additional doses are expected at three other locations on

Tuesday: Oregon Health & Science University Pharmacy, Kaiser Permanente’s Airport Way Center in Portland, and St. Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario are each expected to receive 975-dose packages of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

The remaining 30,225 Pfizer vaccine doses from this week’s allocation for Oregon will arrive at hospitals throughout the rest of the week, with 10,725 doses earmarked for skilled nursing facilities for vaccinations beginning next week.

Manfrin did not respond to a request for comment by press time about when the county expects to begin receiving vaccines, or its plans for distributing them.
County Health Officer Bill Koenig declined to comment, referring the News-Register to Manfrin.

Neither Willamette Valley Medical Center nor Providence Newberg responded by press time to questions about when they expect to begin receiving the vaccine.

The OHA said most Oregon hospitals and health systems registered as vaccine provider sites are expected to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine over the next two weeks. Follow-up shipments are anticipated on Dec. 22 and Dec. 29.

A vaccine manufactured by Moderna Inc., which has not yet received FDA emergency use authorization, is scheduled for delivery in Oregon on Dec. 22 and Dec. 29.

The OHA anticipates there will be sufficient vaccines to provide first doses to about 100,000 people, with second doses following in January.

The state plans to distribute the vaccine to health care workers first, particularly those at highest risk of direct exposure to COVID-19 in their work — hospital employees, emergency medical services personnel, as well as long-term care facility employees and residents. Essential workers, followed by those with underlying health conditions and those older than 65 are next as they are identified by OHA’s equity-focused Vaccine Advisory Committee.

The county reported 87 new cases from Saturday to Monday, bringing its total to date to 2,206 cases. All but 34 have been confirmed with testing; the remainder are people who have been in close contact with people with a confirmed case, and are now showing symptoms themselves, but have not yet been tested.

Linfield University reported one additional case on its McMinnville campus last week, bringing it to 18 since July 1. George Fox University also reported one new case, an employee, last week, bringing its Newberg campus to 52 total cases since July 31.

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