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Tuesday, December 6, 2022
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Readers respond: Why no supplemental vaccine?

When I went to Kaiser Permanente to get vaccinated in April, I had been told I’d be getting Pfizer or Moderna. When I showed up, they had only Johnson & Johnson. The CDC advised getting the vaccine you’re offered, so I took the jab. Now that we have more data about vaccine efficacy, and especially in light of the delta and lambda variants, several leading virologists recommend that people who got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine get a supplemental dose. If I lived in San Francisco, I’d have that shot in my arm. But alas, I live in allegedly “progressive” Oregon, where we think it’s better to put vaccines in the trash.

I made an appointment 20 minutes ago. There was an open slot open every 15 minutes at the nearby Walgreens, so I know they have plenty of vaccine and that I’m not depriving someone of their dose. The online appointment system asks if you have had the vaccine, and the options are “no” or “yes (Pfizer or Moderna).” I have not had Pfizer or Moderna, so the correct answer is “no.” Yet the pharmacists turned me away, saying Oregon law forbids them from giving me a supplemental vaccination – even though it’s acceptable under federal law. Even though that pharmacy has at least two dozen doses of vaccine set aside for today that will be wasted. Oregon has an epic unvaccinated population and a skyrocketing case count. Why not allow me to follow expert scientific advice to protect myself?

Elizabeth R. Bain, Portland

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