Pending federal approval, the first 35,100 of a COVID-19 vaccine shots could be administered in Oregon on Dec. 15, the governor’s office confirmed on Monday, Nov. 30.

The vaccine, created by Pfizer, is being sent to states in advance of expected approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. A total of 6.4 million doses of the vaccine are being sent to states in quantities based on their per capita percentage of the U.S. population.

The first shipment of shots in Oregon will be used to inoculate doctors, nurses and other health care workers and medical facility staff who are working around COVID-19 patients.

State health officials have cautioned that vaccines for all the general public who want one will likely take months.

Inoculation requires two shots given 19-23 days apart. On Dec. 31, Oregon would receive another 35,100 doses for the second shot to be given to those who had started the inoculation process.

An additional 52,650 doses in the shipment would be used as the first shot for the next group of vaccine recipients. At a recent news conference, Gov. Kate Brown said Oregon has about 300,000 health care workers.

Additional doses of the Pfizer shot will arrive regularly beginning in January 2021. After health care personnel, a draft proposal of the state’s vaccine plan calls for inoculation of at-risk residents of congregate care facilities, such as nursing homes, along with staff who come in contact with residents.

If a second vaccine from Moderna becomes available, as expected by year-end, the number of people inoculated can be increased.

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