Vaccinations Update

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Oregon Department of Education - Oregon achieves - together

Date:      January 25, 2021
To:         Superintendents, Principals, Charter School Leaders, and Private School Leaders
From:    Colt Gill, Director of the Oregon Department of Education
RE:        Vaccinations Update

Dear Superintendents, Principals, Charter School Leaders and Private School Leaders:

As of Monday, January 25, educators—including public and private K-12 educators and staff, early childhood educators and staff, and child care providers and staff—can begin getting free COVID-19 vaccinations. Vaccines are another critical tool that can help us return to in-person instruction. The Ready Schools, Safe Learners (RSSL) guidance includes over 160 effective health and safety requirements that reduce the spread of COVID-19 in school settings. This effort can provide educators additional confidence to re-enter our classrooms knowing they are protected by a vaccine. This is the time to act.

I’m sending this message to relay several important updates from our partners at the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) on how Oregon’s educators can receive these vaccinations over the next few weeks. 

Who Is Eligible

The list of K-12 educators who are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is inclusive, and is available online

Learn Where To Get Vaccinated

Superintendents are the primary point of contact between LPHAs, health systems and eligible educators in their district. Private school leaders are the primary point of contact between LPHAs, health systems and eligible educators for their school staff.

For your eligible workforce: Their next step is to wait for more information from you about how to connect with a local vaccination event.

You may also let staff know that if they have general vaccine questions, contact you, or reach out to 211 via email (, text (text ORCOVID to 898211) or over the phone (1-866-698-6155) for the most up-to-date information.

State and local officials ask that your staff please do not reach out directly to local public health authorities, health care providers or hospitals and health systems. Your staff should only attend events or go to vaccination sites that have been offered through you, and your relationship with LPHAs and health systems.  Some events are listed here; you can reach out to hosts in your area:

Vaccination Timetable

More than 152,000 educators, school staff, child care workers and early learning center staff are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently we have 85,000 vaccines allocated to educators over the next 3 weeks. That is not enough supply to vaccinate all educators right away. Meeting our vaccination goals depends on getting enough vaccine supply from the federal government. It is going to take at least 3-4 weeks to ensure educators receive their first of a series of two shots. The state also continues to vaccinate Oregonians in Phase 1A, while also reserving necessary doses for second shots. 

Our hope is to vaccinate all Oregon educators over the next 3-4 weeks. This will depend partly on getting the needed vaccines from the federal government and partly on local planning and organizing. This spreadsheet outlines each county’s educator vaccine distribution for this week. Public and private K-12 employers may choose to prioritize vaccinations locally. One caution we offer is to ensure prioritizing does not slow down vaccination implementation in your area, as we want to use all shots allocated to your county each week. If you do prioritize locally, we suggest considering:

  • School Level sequencing
    • Equity:  Prioritize staff at schools that serve marginalized and underserved communities first, especially those communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This can include students of color; students who are citizens of Native American Indian Tribes; students with disabilities; emerging bilingual students; and students navigating poverty, homelessness, and foster care; and other students who have historically experienced disparities in our schools.
    • In-Person Instruction and Services: Prioritize staff at schools that are providing in-person instruction and/or other services to the largest population of students first.
  • Individual Sequencing – It may not be practical or necessary to sequence vaccines beyond the school level in your county. However, if due to supply limitations there is a need to prioritize staff within a school, consider these factors:
    • Equity: This includes staff at schools who are or who live with household members who are of communities that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
    • Vulnerability: This includes staff who are or who live with household members who are at greater risk of COVID-19.
    • Proximity: This includes staff with the closest contact to students (especially those who support personal needs including but not limited to feeding, diapering, breathing support, or other hands-on support) and staff with the most regular and consistent contact with students during in-person instruction (teachers, educational assistants, etc.). 

What You Need to Know Before Getting Vaccinated

  • The COVID-19 vaccine will be free for you and you do not need health insurance. For now, vaccine doses will be given to everyone at no cost and you do not need to provide proof of health insurance. Vaccine providers cannot charge individuals for giving a vaccine. If you have health insurance, the vaccine provider may charge a vaccine administration fee to your insurance. Vaccine providers can get this fee reimbursed by the patient’s public or private insurance company, or for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Provider Relief Fund.
  • You do not have to show proof that you’re an educator. Vaccine providers may ask you to declare in some way that you are a public and private K-12 educator or staff member, early childhood educator or child care provider or staff.
  • Wear a mask that covers your nose and mouth. Stay six feet or more away from others while inside and when you’re standing in line outside.
  • You should receive a vaccination card or printout that tells you what COVID-19 vaccine you received, the date you received it, where you received it, and when to get your second dose.

 After Vaccination

  • After COVID-19 vaccination, you may have some side effects. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the most common side effects found in the COVID-19 vaccine trials included pain, redness or swelling at the injection site, fatigue, headache, chills, muscle pain and joint pain.
  • You will still need to continue to wear a mask, wash your hands frequently and physically distance even after you are fully vaccinated. Things can't go back to normal until enough people are vaccinated. If we all work together, we'll get to that point faster and save lives in the process. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) may update guidance. We encourage you to continue visiting the CDC website for updated guidance on vaccines.
  • The currently available vaccines require two doses. You should talk to your vaccine provider to learn how you can get notifications about when you are eligible to receive your second dose. You should receive your second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the same location you received the first, unless otherwise directed by the vaccine provider.
  • Download the V-safe app, which provides personalized health check-ins after you receive the vaccination. V-safe can also remind you to get your second dose.

Stopping the Pandemic, Eligibility and Other Questions  

We can all help stop the pandemic by getting a COVID-19 vaccine. To stop this pandemic, we need to use all our prevention tools. Vaccines are one of the most effective tools to protect your health and prevent disease. Vaccines work with your body’s natural defenses so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed (also called “immunity”).

Vaccination is the safest, most effective and most reliable way to keep yourself, your family and your community healthy and safe from COVID-19. The U.S. vaccine safety system makes sure that all vaccines are as safe as possible. Studies show that COVID-19 vaccines are very effective at keeping you from getting COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines cannot give you the virus. 

For more information about eligibility go to, or text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates (English and Spanish only) or email  

If you can’t get your COVID-19 vaccine question answered on the website, by text, or by email, call the call center at 211 or 1-866-698-6155, which is open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including holidays. Please be aware that wait times may be long due to high call volumes. There is an option to get a call back rather than wait on hold (in English and Spanish). Free interpretation is available for all other languages. TTY: Dial 711 or call 1-866-698-6155.

For other questions please consult this FAQ.