Monthly Archives: February 2021

Desperately Seeking Covid-19 Vaccines

As people become eligible for the Covid-19 vaccine, people are scrambling trying to find open appointments to receive the vaccine. This post offers a few tips and tricks to finding and securing a vaccine appointment.

Note: The information here is Oregon-centric, although several of the links may be helpful to folks across the country. This information is not the end-all. It is just what I have been able to compile over the last several weeks.

General Recommendations

Check often – We don’t know what days and times sites are updated, so I recommend checking daily.
Check early – I found appointments before 7am. Within 30 minutes, they were gone.


For those in Oregon, everyone 16 years or older is eligible. Those under 18 may only receive the Pfizer vaccine, however.

Oregon Vaccination Phases

Since this information is subject to change, visit this site for up-to-date info:
COVID-19 Vaccine in Oregon

Here’s a quick list of sites you can check for vaccine appointments:

OHSU Hillsboro and PDX Airport Drive Thru – best to check at 9am weekdays; PDX usually offers Pfizer, Hillsboro varies between Moderna and Pfizer depending on the date. Check the Link.

Oregon Convention Center – Register, and you will receive an email invitation when appointments are available.

Safeway & Albertsons
Rite Aid
Fred Meyer
Walgreens – Walgreens releases new appointments on Mondays and Wednesdays at 5am, Pacific time.

Native American Tribes

Many tribes are offering vaccines to all adults regardless of your state’s vaccination guidelines and schedules. Read carefully as appointments may vary between serving all adults vs. only those affiliated with their tribe. Here are some tribal locations in Oregon you might try:

Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde
Coquille Tribe Vaccine Clinic / Mill Casino, North Bend, OR
Cow Creek Ban of the Umpqua Tribe
Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians
Umatilla Indian Reservation

Consolidated Vaccine Appointment Search Sites

Here are tools for searching multiple pharmacies nation-wide. Although it doesn’t search every site, they have most of the major pharmacy chains. – this tool allows you to specify which vaccine you seek, which is helpful to those who need Pfizer vaccines for their under-18 teens. – this one refreshes itself automatically every 4 minutes


  1. Every site updates at different times. For example, the OHSU site usually publishes new appointments around 9am weekdays. Walgreens seems to update theirs early in the morning (although I’ve also seen updates at other times). Try regularly at different times during the day and week.
  2. If there are supposed to be available slots, but you keep find no available appointments, try either of these tricks:
    – Use a different browser(!). Several times I have found simply switching to a different browser, different computer, or phone, etc., and voila, appointments suddenly appear
    – Change your answers to the eligibility questions (e.g. profession, etc.). Since (at least in Oregon), everyone 16 and older is eligible, those questions really don’t matter.
  3. Expand your search area. Try different cities and zip codes, and expand the radius of search.
  4. Join a vaccine finder Facebook group. This one (serving Oregon) is full of people helping each other out and posting fresh updates of available vaccines. I found mine that way and am now helping others.

Love, Hate, and History

During this year’s Valentine’s Day, a holiday when many friends and loved ones express their affection through cards and gifts, many around the country were stuck at home, many without power or heat for days. Severe snow and ice immobilized much of the Northwest, Texas, the Southeast, and beyond. At this moment, millions are still without power.

Pine tree encased in ice in my front yard

A different kind of cold chill has been striking minority and immigrant populations for more than a year. Hate crime killings and racial violence have seen spikes, especially for Jewish and Latinx populations.

The week of Valentine’s Day also includes another solemn day: February 19, Day of Remembrance.

On this day, 80 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, precipitating the forced removal of 120,000 persons from their homes, without charge or trial, into incarceration camps for 3 or more years.

FDR in 1932 – Getty Images

On Day of Remembrance, Japanese-Americans and civil libertarians recall this disastrous and dangerous Executive Order. They remember the fear, hatred, and racism out of which it was born, and the same fear, hatred, and racism further incubated and exacerbated during and after WWII.

My mother was a grade school girl when she was forced with her family from their Hood River home and into hastily built and poorly insulated barracks in Tule Lake, CA and Heart Mountain, WY.

Manzanar “War Relocation Center” – Photo by Ansel Adams, 1943

She remembers the blazing heat and awful dust storms of summer and the biting cold and blowing ice crystals in winter that burned her arms and legs. Unlike my many friends today, however, my mother and her family could expect no utility workers to work tirelessly to fix their power and heat within days. She and her family endured extremes for months and years with little relief.

Today, the rise in violence against Asian-Americans is chilling evidence how hatred and xenophobia have been rekindled and enflamed in our country and around the world.

I invite everyone to learn what you can do about anti-Asian racism and violence. Here is an excellent article on the topic from Rolling Stone.

Also, I encourage you to learn more about Day of Remembrance and the history of the forced mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans – like my mother and her family – during WWII.

I have created a blog article with many links to pictures both public and from my own family, videos of talks my mother and I have given, animated short films, documentaries, recommended reading, and much more. I update it periodically with new content. You can find it here:

February 19, Day of Remembrance – Toby Loftus

Peace and grace to you all.