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PRIORITIZE FRONT-LINE WORKERS!

Despite recommendations from the Center for Disease Control that grocery workers should be prioritized for vaccination, Oregon has continued to ignore them.

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SIGN ON TO THE LETTER TO THE GOVERNOR:

The following letter will be sent to Governor Kate Brown and the Oregon Health Authority, urging a re-evaluation of the vaccine prioritization schedule in order to better adhere to CDC recommendations with regard to grocery workers.  Elected officials are invited to sign on.

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March 2021

Dear Madam Governor,

 

We, the undersigned public officials, ask you to revisit the recently-announced vaccination prioritization schedule in light of recent testimony as well as recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.

 

At the March 1 hearing of the House Committee On Health Care House Subcommittee On COVID-19, the committee heard testimony about the dangerous and unsafe conditions that many workers in the grocery industry have been facing, including concerns that their extremely public-facing position places them at significant risk of contracting COVID as well as significant risk of unknowingly spreading an infection.

 

Additionally, these workers disproportionately represent communities of color and other vulnerable populations that have borne the brunt of the health and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

For these reasons, the CDC’s panel of public health and epidemiological experts recommended prioritizing workers in the grocery industry for vaccinations directly after health care workers and long-term care residents.

 

While this is not an easy decision by any stretch of the imagination, we feel that Oregon’s determination to delay grocery workers’ vaccinations until May places an undue burden on workers who have been on the front lines of this public health crisis for over a year.  Even today, the State of Oregon is directing vaccine-eligible individuals to grocery stores to get vaccinated as the workers in those stores remain ineligible.

 

At the March 1 hearing, the Oregon Health Authority provided testimony to the committee acknowledging that there would be an opportunity to re-evaluate the vaccination schedule in the coming weeks.

 

We urge you to work with OHA to engage in just such a re-evaluation in order to properly prioritize grocery workers in accordance with CDC recommendations as well as the significant and vital work that they have unfailingly performed over the past year.

 

Thank you.

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SIGN THIS LETTER

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