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Oregon starts COVID-19 vaccinations

The first shipments of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine began arriving in Oregon earlier this week.

PORTLAND, Ore. — Some of the first COVID-19 vaccines were administered in Oregon at three different hospitals on Wednesday morning. The vaccinations were streamed as part of a press briefing with Oregon Gov. Kate Brown.

"To all of our health care workers, we say thank you," Brown said. "Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your commitment to serving your fellow Oregonians over the past several months."

The first shipments of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine began arriving in Oregon earlier this week. On Wednesday morning, the first vaccinations in Oregon were administered at Legacy Health, Oregon Health & Science University and Saint Alphonsus in Ontario, near the Idaho border.

Brown called the vaccinations a moment that is bringing hope and promise, but cautioned that Oregonians need to continue doing all they can to protect themselves and others from COVID-19.

"We need every single Oregonian to step up and continue with safety protocol," Brown said.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) Director Patrick Allen said by the end of December, Oregon will have received enough doses to vaccinate 100,000 people. He said Oregon has not received any guidance from the federal government on vaccine shipments beyond December.

Allen offered a few details about the first phase of Oregon's vaccine distribution plan. The OHA will prioritize people who are the most at-risk and hardest hit by COVID-19, he said.

Phase 1 of Oregon's plan will start with health care workers and nursing home residents and staff members, followed by workers in essential and critical industries, and then people over 65 and those at high risk of severe COVID illness due to underlying conditions.

Gov. Brown said Oregon will convene a vaccine advisory committee to help make decisions about which essential workers receive the vaccine first.

WATCH: COVID-19 updates and stories