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I got vaccinated at the Oregon Convention Center. Here's what you can expect.

February 16, 2021   |   By Jacqui Monahan

Oregon’s COVID-19 vaccination program is continuing to ramp up and evolve. While we are getting closer to pharmacies and your doctor’s office receiving doses, the main distribution site is still the Oregon Convention Center. One of our patients was qualified to receive the vaccine and documented their experience as they navigated the Convention Center. Here is the information they had to relay:

On Friday, February 5 I went to the Convention Center to receive my first COVID-19 vaccine dose. Here are the steps you should expect from start to finish:

  1. They have opened up the parking garage at the Convention Center so you are able to park free of charge.
  2. From the parking garage, make your way to the elevator. Someone is standing there to verify that you do in fact have an appointment. They will direct you to the first floor.
  3. Once on the first floor, follow the arrow stickers on the ground that are spaced 6 feet apart. These wrap all around the building. Odds are you will end up in a line. Use the sticker to appropriately distance yourself from the person in front of you.
  4. At the end of this sticker road is the first check in station. Have your email confirmation ready to show as proof of your appointment time. They will hand you a pre-vaccination worksheet and send you to a group of spaced out cocktail tables where you can fill it out with the provided golf pencil. This packet also provides information on the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
  5. After you fill out your worksheet, continue on the sticker path. You will come to another volunteer who will give you a vaccination record card and a pen.
  6. Continue on the sticker path until you reach the final check in area. During this time you should fill out your information on the vaccination record card.
  7. You are now directed into the vaccination ballroom. You will be ushered to a volunteer with a computer who will check your pre-vaccination worksheet, license, and insurance card. They confirm which dose you are there for. If you answered “Yes” to any of the screening questions on the worksheet, they send you over to speak with a doctor. If you did not answer “Yes” to any of the screening questions, you will proceed to the final line. If you need to check in with the doctor, they ask the necessary questions to make sure it is safe for you to proceed with the vaccine.
  8. When you are at the front of this final line, a volunteer will direct you to a vaccination station. Be sure to wear a loose fitting top that allows for easy access to your upper arm.
  9. The medical professional will confirm your dosage again as well as the answers to the screening questions. They clean your arm and administer the vaccine which is just a quick pinch. You are given your vaccination record card back with a sticker that describes which vaccine you got, the date, location, and batch number. They will also give you a sticker tag with the time you are allowed to leave the observation zone. 
  10. The observation zone consists of rows of chairs that are appropriately spaced apart with a large clock in the corner. You are required to sit there for 15 minutes. Medical professionals wander around checking in on you. 
  11. As you wait in the observation zone, they send you an email to schedule your next dose. There is a large board next to the clock that tells you which day you should schedule on.
  12. Once your 15 minutes are up and your second dose is scheduled you are free to go! Simply follow the sticker path back out to the parking garage. 

The aftermath: Within two hours my arm was very sore. This lasted about 24 hours, then I felt completely fine and had no other side effects. (Note: this is for dose 1 only. I can’t speak about side effects from dose 2 yet).

Some notes:

  1. If you are unable to schedule on your phone while in the observation zone, they have several stations on the way out of the building with volunteers who will help get you on the schedule.
  2. My appointment was for 10:15 AM and I was done at 11 AM. Other than the observation zone, I was standing or walking the whole time. If you or someone you are assisting would struggle to walk half a mile or stand for over 30 minutes, plan accordingly. They have volunteers available who can assist you if you need to navigate a wheelchair or walker through the process. 
  3. This is what the process looked like on February 5th. It is possible that parts of this have changed slightly, but hopefully this gives you a good idea of what to expect.

Are you a Washington state GreenField patient? Not to worry! We are working to collect vaccination stories from our Washington patients as well. Stay tuned for more information coming out soon.