Winter storms delay vaccine shipments across the country; Staying safe when the power is out, how to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

We want you to know that vaccine shipments may be delayed due to severe weather here in Oregon and across the country.  

This slowdown and the effects of local winter weather may impact your access to vaccines. If you have questions about how your COVID-19 vaccine appointment might be affected, reach out to your vaccine provider.

Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is in contact with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to make sure that our doses are safe.

OHA is also assisting Oregon COVID-19 vaccine sites that have lost power to their freezers by moving doses to powered sites to avoid spoilage. We are evaluating the situation and expect to learn more in the next few days.

Visit our COVID-19 webpage to get details about your county.

If without power after storm: Unplug electronics, keep refrigerators and freezers closed, use generators outside only.

Staying safe at home without power

These past few days have been rough for many people in Oregon. Not only are we all coping with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, now many people are dealing with power outages, and limited mobility due to snow, ice and fallen trees. Here are some ways you can stay safe during this emergency.

Avoid carbon monoxide poisoning

With a loss of power, you may be thinking of using alternate heating and cooking sources, some of which come with the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. During a power outage, keep these things in mind:

  • Use caution with kerosene or gas space heaters; use vented space heaters whenever possible and make sure they are clean and inspected.
  • Never use a gas range or oven to heat your home.
  • Do not use charcoal grills or camp stoves indoors.
  • Never run a portable generator or any gas-powered engine in a basement, garage or other enclosed area, even if doors and windows are open.

Common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning are headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion. Exposure to carbon monoxide can cause loss of consciousness and death. If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, seek fresh air and consult a health care professional right away.

For more information on carbon monoxide safety including fact sheets in multiple languages, visit the OHA website.