Get the Covid vaccination? Where? When? How? Questions and no answers. Well, you can blame it on the algorithm says “The New York Times”. I admit I had to look up algorithm to be sure I knew what it meant: “A process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations especially by a computer.”
The New York Times says: “Trump administration officials came up with a seemingly simple formula last year to streamline distribution of the shots. First, federal administrators would run an automated algorithm to divide vaccine doses nationwide, based on the size of each state’s adult population. Then each state would decide how to dole out the shots to local hospitals, nursing homes and clinics.”
The federal algorithm divides the total amount of vaccine available each week among the 50 states — as well as U.S. territories and a few big cities like New York — based on the number of people over 18 in each place. (This was based on the census, which may not have been the most complete count.) Some states say that they have received fewer doses than the algorithm allotted them or that the federal system canceled their vaccine orders without notifying them. (Oops!)
Should have been simple, right? Leave it up to the states to do the allocation of shots. The algorithm requires states “to come up with multiple delivery plans for their weekly quotas of Pfizer and Moderna shots, even if the different shipments are destined for the same clinics and hospitals. The federal agencies, states, local health departments and medical centers have each developed different allocation formulas, based on a variety of ethical and political considerations. The result: Americans are experiencing wide disparities in vaccine access.” And we, as well as state and local agencies are slowly losing our minds!
How have some of the allocations been done? Oregon, for instance, has prioritized teachers over the elderly for Covid shots to help schools and businesses reopen. New Jersey has put smokers ahead of educators, which could save lives. (All you smokers better move to New Jersey!) Florida and Alaska, for instance, have given residents 65 and older priority for the vaccine. Massachusetts began allowing residents 75 and older to get the shots in early February. Oregon is opening the shots up to people 80 and over this week.
- Enough of that nonsense! What is the status of OUR vaccinations? oregon.gov website, or at getvaccinated.oregon.gov basic questions of eligibility and links to information about vaccinations in the counties are available. Users can sign up for alerts to get notified about vaccination events or find out when they may become eligible.
- Or you can call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, between 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. Wait times may be long due to high call volumes. Governor Brown announced the Oregon National Guard will help 211 answer phone calls, starting February 8.
- In addition, Biden administration is sending shipments of the shots directly to thousands of retail pharmacis. Oregon has opted into this program offering seniors the option to get vaccinated at 133 retail locations across the state. Seems sensible, doesn’t it? Many of us have received our flu shots from pharmacies, why not the covid shots?
So if you’ve had both shots (two doses of either Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine) and it’s at least two weeks since the second shot, you can skip quarantine if exposed to someone infected with the virus, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says.
How long does the protection last? CDC doesn’t know, so people who had their last shot three months ago or more should still quarantine if they are exposed. They also should quarantine if they show symptoms, the CDC said. You should watch for symptoms for 14 days after you have been exposed to someone who is infected.
A warning: vaccines prevent symptomatic illness but they have not yet been shown to prevent asymptomatic illness. While people with no symptoms can spread coronavirus, the CDC said, “symptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission is thought to have a greater role in the spread of the disease.