Local health officials react to reported Covid-19 vaccine effectiveness

MEDFORD, Ore. — A vaccine by the pharmaceutical giant Pfizer is making national headlines Monday for reportedly being over 90 percent effective against covid-19.

The news coming as an exciting surprise to local health officials.

Jackson County Health Officer Dr. Shames says conversations are ongoing about how a vaccine like this would be distributed locally.

Whether that’s how the county is going to educate people to have the vaccine, who is vaccinated first, and how to get it and store it.

For a vaccine like Pfizer’s, Dr. Shames says it has to be stored at extremely cold temperatures.

That makes it difficult to distribute to rural areas.

“It requires shipping in specially constructed containers, it involves storage of these large containers, and then you have to get the vaccine distributed in a very short period of time to maintain the cold chain,” said Dr. Shames, Jackson Co. Health Officer.

Dr. Shames says both hospitals in the county have the materials necessary to get the Pfizer vaccine.

When the time comes, they will wait for the state’s direction.

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