Where to get a vaccine?
- Contact your healthcare provider or medical insurance provider.
- Check the State of Oregon vaccination page for information about where you can get your shot. The “Vaccine Information Tool” is what you need to use to book an appointment.
- Check for vaccine clinics in your area. Click here for Oregon or here for Washington State.
- SEIU partnership clinics. SEIU 503 is partnering with healthcare providers to make vaccine appointments available to our members. Make sure your email address is up-to-date. SEIU 503 will send you information about clinics in your area.
Who is eligible?
Frequently Asked Questions
Should you take the vaccine?
Short answer, yes. Our union supports healthcare workers, essential workers, and the general public taking the vaccine to eliminate COVID-19 and begin the process of rebuilding from this pandemic. Detailed information on the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine is provided below and on the Oregon Health Authority website. Women who are pregnant or may become pregnant, and people who have strong allergic reactions should consult their doctor.
Do you have to take the vaccine?
No. There are no mandates from any employer in our union. Our interpretation of the law is that employers can not mandate that you take the vaccine as a condition of employment. If this were to change, we would notify workers immediately.
It is our position that essential workers and members of the public should take the vaccine. But we don’t think people should be fired or disciplined if they choose not to.
Is the Vaccine effective?
Yes. COVID-19 vaccines have been carefully evaluated in clinical trials and approved by the FDA because they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
COVID-19 Vaccine Safety and Effectiveness
We understand that some people may be concerned about getting vaccinated once a COVID-19 vaccine is available in the United States. While these vaccines are being developed as quickly as possible, routine processes and procedures remain in place to ensure the safety of any vaccine that is authorized or approved for use. Safety is a top priority, and there are many reasons to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccination will help keep you from getting COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccines have been carefully evaluated in clinical trials and approved by the FDA because they make it substantially less likely you’ll get COVID-19.
COVID-19 vaccination will be a safer way to help build protection.
Getting COVID-19 may offer some protection against future infection. However, COVID-19 can have serious, life-threatening complications, and there is no way to know how COVID-19 will affect you. And if you get sick, you could spread the disease to friends, family, and others around you.
The vaccine is a safe way to protect yourself and your friends and family. The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through three phases of “trials,” in which the vaccines were tested on large numbers of people to look for side effects. Additionally, Oregon joined other western states in a review the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines once approved by the FDA. This added layer of independent expert review that will help build confidence in the vaccine and bring an additional layer of scrutiny to this important process. More details on COVID-19 vaccine safety.
COVID-19 vaccination will be an important tool to help stop the pandemic.
2020 has been a hard year, and we all want to go back to normal. The combination of getting vaccinated and following CDC’s recommendations to protect yourself and others will offer the best protection from COVID-19 and help us beat this illness once and for all.
Oregon’s Vaccine Distribution Plan
The vaccine will be distributed in phases. Early vaccination is scheduled for people at highest risk of exposure or severe COVID-19 illness. As vaccine supply increases, more people will be able to get the vaccine.
Where to get vaccinated: Healthcare workplaces, sites specific to Phase 1 populations. Details are still being determined for homecare workers.
Where to get vaccinated: Sites specific to Phase 2 populations, hospitals, doctor’s offices, clinical offices, pharmacies, public health clinics, mobile clinics.
Where to get vaccinated: Doctor’s offices, clinical offices, pharmacies, private partners, public health sites.
The FDA is responsible for regulating vaccines in the United States. Vaccines undergo rigorous scientific testing to ensure their effectiveness and safety. The COVID-19 vaccines have gone through three phases of “trials,” in which the vaccines are tested on large number of people to look for side effects. Many of the COVID-19 vaccine trials are much larger than a typical phase 3 clinical trial, with some studies enrolling as many as 30,000 to 60,000 volunteers.
If successful in trials, the vaccine maker submits a license application to FDA that provides efficacy and safety information. Then the FDA makes a risk/benefit assessment and decides whether to recommend or oppose the approval of a vaccine. Also, during this stage, the proposed manufacturing facility undergoes a pre-approval inspection during which production of the vaccine as it is in progress is examined in detail.
Once FDA approves a vaccine, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provides guidance on whether and how products should be used by public health. CDC guidance is informed by an outside advisory committee called the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP). ACIP independently reviews the vaccine safety and efficacy data, as well as epidemiologic data describing which groups are most at risk and likely to benefit from vaccination.
The Western States Pact
Governor Kate Brown announced that Oregon is joining other western states to review the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines once approved by the FDA. The Scientific Safety Review Workgroup includes Oregon, Washington, California, Nevada and Colorado.
The panel will include experts appointed by all member states, and nationally recognized scientists with expertise in immunization and public health. This panel will review all publicly available data concurrently with federal reviews and will present a report as soon as possible after the FDA approves a vaccine. This will happen for all approved COVID-19 vaccines.
This is an added layer of independent expert review that will help build confidence in the vaccine and bring an additional layer of scrutiny to this important process.