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VERIFY: People who live and work in Oregon should not get the vaccine in Washington

Some Oregonians who work in Washington may be eligible for the vaccine there, but like in many other states, vaccine distribution isn't going as fast as planned.

Older Oregonians and teachers are anxiously awaiting their turn for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

While teachers will be eligible in a matter of days, seniors won't be eligible until mid-February, Gov. Kate Brown announced last week, upon learning the state would not be getting as many vaccine doses as anticipated.

In the past week, a number of seniors have emailed KGW to ask about Washington state, where people 65 and older are already eligible for vaccination. As of Jan. 20, teachers in the state are not. 

KGW's VERIFY team set out to answer, can Oregonians get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Washington state? 

Health officials said someone who lives and works in Oregon should not travel to Washington to get the shot.

However, Oregonians who work in Washington or live there for part of the year are allowed to get vaccinated there under the state's current guidance, a Washington State Department of Health spokesperson said. 

So hypothetically, yes, a 65-year-old from Portland who works on the other side of the Columbia River in Vancouver, Wash. could make an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Clark County.

"The guidance from the state Department of Health is that people who live or work in Washington can be vaccinated in Washington," said Marissa Armstrong, spokesperson for Clark County Public Health (CCPH). 

But getting an appointment could take weeks, as many eligible Washingtonians are already finding that most, if not all appointments are booked for the foreseeable future. 

Armstrong said like many other counties, Clark County’s vaccine supply is limited, and the number of people eligible far exceeds the supply.

"In the first 24 hours of accepting requests for vaccination among the Phase 1b Tier 1 group, we received more than 11,000 requests for vaccination," Armstrong said in an email.  "We anticipate it will take several weeks for people who submitted those requests to get vaccinated."

CCPH is asking that only people who live or work in Clark County seek vaccination in Clark County. 

The state Department of Health added that a person who gets a second dose in a different state from the first wants to be careful about getting the same brand of vaccine, as they are not interchangeable. 

The department says people should not go to a vaccination site without an appointment. Proof of residency is not required. 

Do you have something you want us to VERIFY? Let us know. Email us at VERIFY@kgw.com.    

RELATED: Oregon to begin vaccinating teachers Jan. 25, seniors 80 and older Feb. 8

RELATED: How to use Washington's PhaseFinder tool to determine your COVID-19 vaccine eligibility