First COVID-19 Vaccines Given in Wasco County

Wasco County residents have begun receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

  • On Dec. 27, the Oregon Veterans’ Home and The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation were first facilities in Wasco County to get COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Vaccines are free to all residents and staff.
  • Mid-Columbia Medical Center starts vaccinating staff Dec. 29.
  • Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities, (nursing homes) are first in line to get vaccines, which are 95 percent effective against COVID-19.
  • Columbia Basin Care in The Dalles slated to get vaccines Dec. 31, with the date subject to change based on vaccine supply and pharmacy schedule.
  • The Springs at Mill Creek, an assisted living facility in The Dalles, begins vaccinations Jan. 6.

On Sunday, Dec. 27, the residents and staff of the Oregon Veterans’ Home in The Dalles and The Dalles Health and Rehabilitation, two local skilled nursing facilities, were the first in Wasco County to receive COVID-19 vaccinations.

Hospitals and Skilled Nursing Facilities (or nursing homes) are the first groups to get the vaccine in Oregon. Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles got 100 doses last week and begins vaccinations on Tuesday, Dec. 29.

Columbia Basin Care, a Skilled Nursing Facility in The Dalles, plans to vaccinate interested residents and staff on Thursday, Dec. 31, although the date may change based on pharmacy schedule and vaccine supply.

The Oregon Health Authority has also prioritized emergency responders like police, firefighters and ambulance crews to be in the first group to get the vaccine.

Two vaccines, by pharmaceutical companies Pfizer and Moderna, have received emergency use authorization from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. MCMC got the Moderna vaccine, while the three local skilled nursing facilities are getting the Pfizer vaccine. Each vaccine requires two doses, the Pfizer three weeks apart and Moderna four weeks apart.

In large trials of the two vaccines, the most common side effects reported were pain at the injection site, tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, and fever. They are more common after the second dose, but last only a few days.

It will take months to roll out the vaccine completely, and it is still critical to continue wearing masks, keep physical distance, avoid large gathering, wash hands, and stay home when sick.

(For more information, visit Oregon Health Authority’s COVID vaccine information page here or call North Central Public Health District at (541) 506-2600 or visit us on the web at or