COVID-19 Vaccine

Vaccine Information

If you still have questions after reviewing this page and the other web pages listed below, please email health@columbiacountyor.gov and someone will try to get back to you as soon as possible. We are receiving more email inquiries than our staff can handle, so it is best if you can try to find your answer on these pages before emailing us. Thank you for understanding, and we apologize for any inconvenience.

What is Columbia's role in COVID-19 vaccination?

The county's primary role is to ensure access to vaccine by all people who want it. This does not mean that we will be doing a lot of vaccinations ourselves. In fact, the county itself expects to vaccinate just 5-10% of the population through vaccine clinics for people not well served through healthcare systems and pharmacies. We will plan these clinics with community partners with an equity lens for those who have been affected by COVID-19 disproportionately (Latinx and BIPOC communities) and those who have limited access due to homelessness or poverty.

How much does the vaccine cost?

The federal government will cover the cost of the COVID-19 vaccine. Please note that your health care provider will likely charge an office visit fee or a fee to give the vaccine. Health insurance is required to cover these fees. Providers should administer the vaccine regardless of a patient’s ability to pay.  

Can I get on a list to get vaccinated?

  • Columbia County Public Health has partnered with others to provide COVID-19 vaccinations. By filling out the Columbia County Vaccine Interest Form→. Download a paper form here→, Someone from public health will notify you when you are eligible to receive the vaccine. You will also be notified when appointments become available.
  • Vaccine Finder→ Information and resources may be limited while more providers and pharmacies are added in the coming weeks.

  • Get Vaccinated Oregon is an eligibility and notification tool developed by Google, in partnership with the state of Oregon. You can find it at covidvaccine.oregon.gov or getvaccinated.oregon.gov. You can answer basic questions to learn if you are eligible and get linked to information about vaccinations in your county. You can sign up for alerts to be notified about vaccination events or find out when you may become eligible.
  • Vaccine Information “chat bot”: on the covidvaccine.oregon.gov website lets you find out if you’re eligible for a vaccination in Oregon or get answers to other questions about the vaccine. The Vaccine Information chat bot also helps vaccine eligible users living in Clackamas, Columbia, Marion, Multnomah or Washington counties to schedule vaccine appointments using tools hosted by the healthcare systems. The Vaccine Information Tool “chat bot”  is an Oregon box that appears when a user clicks on “Let’s get started” on the covidvaccine.oregon.gov website.

* New vaccine appointments for the Oregon Convention Center become available on Mondays and Thursdays at 9a.m. and 12p.m. These appointments fill up quickly, so please check back regularly. 

  • 211 Info: You can also text ORCOVID to 898211 to get text/SMS updates about vaccination clinics (this option is available in English and Spanish only) or email ORCOVID@211info.org.

Don't have regular access to the internet, computer, or smartphone? 

  • 211: You can call 211 or 1-866-698-6155, which is open from 6am to 7pm daily, including holidays. Please be aware that wait times may be long due to high call volume.
  • Columbia County Public Health Department will assist you with vaccination registration.  Please call 503-397-7247

Can I get vaccinated at my local pharmacy?

Limited vaccination appointments will be available for eligible individuals at local pharmacies starting the week of February 15. We will update this section when more information becomes available. 

For more information on the Federal Pharmacy Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 Vaccine, please check out the CDC's webpage→

I'm a veteran. How do I get my vaccine?


The VA is handling vaccination of veterans according to the federal schedule. You can find more details on their website.

When can I get vaccinated?


Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority determine the vaccination prioritization. Exact timeframes can change and depend on vaccine supply. Please see the table below to find your group. Additionally, OHA has added a Vaccine Eligibility & FAQ tool to their website. Use it to find out whether your profession or circumstances qualify you for being vaccinated now.

Unfortunately, there is currently not enough vaccine supply for everyone who is (or who will soon be) eligible. Everyone who wants to be vaccinated will get vaccinated. It will likely take longer than we all want. We understand your frustration but ask for your continued patience.

See Oregon's vaccination data dashboard that shows how many have been vaccinated across the state and county by county.

Need transportation?

Columbia Pacific Coordinated Care Organization (CPCCO) members can click this link→

Dial-A-Ride through Columbia County Rider (CC Rider)

Download and complete the Dial-a-Ride registration form→

Mail or email the completed form to:

CC Rider

1155 Deer Island Road

St Helens, OR  97051

ccriderinfo@columbiacountyor.gov

Call their dispatch at 503-366-0159 (6:30am – 6:30pm) to schedule your pick-up. Please schedule your pick-up as far a head of your appointment as possible. 

Columbia County Rider – NW Connector 

How do I get my second dose?

The agency that provided your first vaccine will communicate with you about how to get your second dose. Please be sure to provide contact information when you get your first dose.

Once I get vaccinated, how long until I am protected?

Once you receive your first vaccine you will need to make a plan to receive your second dose. Often the provider of the first will have a plan in place for the second. The second vaccine can be given in three (Pfizer) or four (Moderna) weeks. After your second dose, it takes your body 2-3 weeks to build up the antibodies needed to protect you. 

Once fully vaccinated, both vaccines provide you with about 95% protection, but it is unclear if it protects those around you. While you are unlikely to get sick, you may still be able to carry the virus. Please continue to wear a mask and wash your hands regularly.

What is herd immunity (or community immunity)?

Herd immunity, or community immunity, happens when enough people are immune to an infectious disease through vaccination or prior illness to make its spread from person to person unlikely. Experts estimate that herd immunity would require a large percent of the population to have COVID-19 immunity, either through prior infection or vaccination. That's why experts are encouraging the public to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

How long will Phase 1A last? (scroll down for phases)

Oregon Health Authority expects to be done vaccinating all groups in Phase 1A by the end of February. However, this is dependent on how much vaccine Oregon receives.

Can my organization provide vaccines to our staff?

If your organization has more than 100 people and staff licensed to vaccinate, you can enroll as a vaccine provider (click on "vaccine planning").

Additional Resources

Current Prioritized Phases

The prioritization of specific groups is an evolving process. We will work to keep it up to date here. The art of vaccinating all people as quickly as possible is complex, and local public health does not have a role in all phase or priority groups. We rely on the planning and efforts of partners within the county, at the state level and nationally. Together we will be successful. Groups are not in any particular order within each phase or group in the table below.

1/5/2021 Oregon Health Authority update regarding Phase 1A: OHA is allowing anyone included in Phase 1A, Groups 1-4 to be considered eligible for vaccine at this time. Providers and vaccine sites should vaccinate in a manner that provides the greatest efficiency to maximize vaccinations. However, to the extent possible providers should follow the sequencing outlined in the plan. 

1/8/2021 Oregon Health Authority activates Part B of the Federal Pharmacy Program: This includes long-term care facilities and has now been expanded to include assisted living facilities, adult foster homes, residential treatment facilities and independent living facilities, among other congregate care settings.

1/12/2021 Public Health partners with health systems for Phase 1A access to vaccinations: Beginning today, Columbia County health care providers and others who are eligible for Phase 1A can apply to receive COVID-19 vaccinations through area hospital systems.  

How it works: Employers and solo practitioners in Phase 1A should identify one person to contact Columbia County Public Health Department with the name of their organization, what health care sector they work in, how many people need vaccination, and a point of contact. Public Health will validate eligibility and match employers/solo practitioners with vaccination opportunities.

This system is NOT intended for individual community members.

Columbia County Public Health 

Phone: 503-397-7247

Email: health@columbiacountyor.gov

1/12/2021 Update from Governor Kate Brown: The governor is expanding COVID-19 vaccination eligibility in Oregon to include everyone age 65 and older. Vaccinations of seniors, child care providers, PK-12 educators and staff will begin January 23. If you are newly eligible, we ask for your patience. Please, do not call your doctor's office. Know that health care providers are working as fast as humanly possible to shift their vaccine distribution plans to meet this sudden change in national guidance. Additional guidance coming from the governor on January 15.

1/15/2021 Due to the lack of federal reserve of vaccine supply, the governor and OHA have made changes to the vaccination prioritization she announced on 1/12/2021. The chart below has been updated to reflect these updates. OHA has added a Vaccine Eligibility tool & General FAQ to their website. Use it to find out whether your profession or circumstances qualify you for being vaccinated now.

The chart below has NOT been updated to reflect the governor's most recent announcement. We will update it when we have more information.

Eligibility Starting Date* Phase Groups Included Status
December 2020 Phase 1A
Group 1
Hospitals, urgent care Currently vaccinating
Skilled nursing and memory care facility health care providers and residents Currently vaccinating
EMS providers, law enforcement, fire and 911 dispatch Currently vaccinating
January 2021 Phase 1A
Group 2
Residential facilities, congregate care sites and adult foster homes, including health care providers and residents  Currently vaccinating
Hospice programs, mobile crisis care and related services

Currently vaccinating

Secure transport Currently vaccinating
Individuals working in a correctional setting Currently vaccinating
January 2021 Phase 1A
Group 3
Outpatient settings serving specific high-risk groups, in-home care, day treatment services Currently vaccinating
SEIU503 home healthcare and personal support workers Currently vaccinating
Paid or unpaid caregivers of medically fragile children or adults who live at home Currently vaccinating
Adults and age-eligible children who live at home and experience a medical condition or disability that requires outside health care personnel or direct care personnel to deliver services in their home Currently vaccinating
Non-emergency medical transport Currently vaccinating
January 2021 Phase 1A
Group 4
All other outpatient health care providers Currently vaccinating
Public Health workers who have contact with the public Currently vaccinating
Health care workers in early learning settings Currently vaccinating
Death care workers Currently vaccinating
Jan. 25, 2021

Phase 1B
Educators and school staff

Educator FAQ

Child care, preschool and K-12 teachers and school district staff

Currently vaccinating

Feb. 8, 2021

Phase 1B
Ages 65+

65+ FAQ

Age 80+ Currently vaccinating
Feb 15th, 2021 Age 75+ Currently vaccinating
Feb 22, 2021 Age 70+ TBD
Mar 1, 2021 Age 65+ TBD

*Does not guarantee access. We ask for your continued patience as we await a steadier supply of vaccine.

Subsequent groups will be determined by OHA in coordination with the Vaccine Advisory Committee. Groups may include:

  • Critical workers in high-risk settings — workers who are in industries essential to the functioning of society and substantially higher risk of exposure
  • People of all ages with underlying conditions that put them at moderately higher risk
  • People in prisons, jails, detention centers, and similar facilities, and staff who work in such settings
  • General population

When we have more information, we will update this table. Thank you for your continued patience.

Questions

General vaccine questions: COVID19.Vaccine@dhsoha.state.or.us

Dial 2-1-1 for questions about COVID-19 vaccine

Public Health Quick Links
230 Strand St.
Columbia County Courthouse Annex
St. Helens,
OR
97051
Fax: 888-204-8568

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. to 5:00
Administrator
Michael Paul