PORTLAND, OR (KPTV) – Some essential workers say they feel they keep getting pushed back to get their vaccine, despite potential exposure to the virus everyday.

UFCW local 555 represents 29,000 workers in Oregon and Southwest Washington, it says about 28,000 of those are essential. The union says that it has been disappointed by Oregon’s rollout of the vaccine and wishes that the state had chosen to prioritize essential workers according to CDC guidelines.

Grocery workers feel left behind when it comes to COVID-19 vaccinations

KPTV file image

The union adds that many of its members work in grocery stores or food processing plants and that they fear going to work and contracting the virus and bringing it home to family members.

“While they’re forced to come face-to-face with this virus every day, they haven’t been moved up to the front of the line or near the front of the line when it comes to getting vaccinations. So they get the risk, they keep going to work and getting coughed on and have to deal with customers that don’t want to wear masks, but they haven’t been moved up to the appropriate level,” said Dan Clay, who is the president of UFCW local 555.

Oregon governor Kate Brown has said she hears the concerns of essential workers, but is asking them to be patient while educators were moved up in priority. A date for essential workers to get vaccinated has not been set yet.

Clay says he was glad to see essential workers on a list of about 1.25 million people that will get the vaccine after the elderly, but still feels they should have been higher in priority.

Copyright 2021 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved. 


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(9) comments


Brown is a complete failure. Taking care of her union teacher hacks, letting the REAL work force go it alone. She needs to be gone, remember when it's time for a new governor..this is what YOU voted for!


Sorry like most of us your not in Browns IN_CROWD CLUB

Husky Loyalist

Cry me as river. What percentage has died from this virus? Over 80% of the deaths are seniors and your governor has sent them to the back of the bus schedule.


Got a newsflash! People with prexisting conditions that are VULNERABLE should be at the top of the list. People who want and need to work. They should be up there getting vaccinated before teachers and grocery workers. Brown needs to do her job, she is failing miserably!


Grocery workers are more important than school teachers.

Native Born

That` right.Teachers can work from home with online learning which no is not that great, but we all have to rely on grocery workers to stock the shelves & supply us with our food!


Much more important.


out of 29000, how many have gotten sick in the last year, and taken it home to family. I think that is an important answer.

Kenny Rogers

Try telling that to the elderly or adults with preexisting conditions.

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