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.
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.