During a webinar with Oregon employers on March 22, the Oregon Health Authority released a comprehensive “employer toolkit” designed to help you communicate important information about vaccines to your workers, and to give them information about locations and appointments as they become eligible in the next few weeks.
With the governor’s new, accelerated vaccination timeline, hundreds of thousands of Oregonians will become eligible for a vaccine in the coming weeks (before eligibility opens to all Oregonians 16 and older on May 1). The federal government is expected to increase shipments to Oregon starting next week. For employers, there are a few immediate steps you can take to help your employees prepare for vaccinations – and, of course, get Oregon on track to full economic recovery.
- Encourage employees to register with the state so they receive notifications and know how to make appointments when they become eligible.
- Share all the vaccine information in the toolkit with employees, customers and your business network. Email, text and social media templates are available for you to use. This is important to address vaccine hesitancy and to make sure employees feel comfortable about getting a shot.
- The state needs more medical personnel to administer the vaccine. Please consider putting a call out to your employees to see if they are qualified medical providers. They can sign up here if they have the necessary experience.
- Some employers may be able to host onsite vaccination clinics for their employees and community members. The state plans to make these arrangements with large employers and will provide specific information in the next week or so. We will keep you updated as information becomes available.
Here’s the current vaccine distribution schedule:
- March 22: Migrant and seasonal farmworkers in counties where they are already working, and Oregonians 45 and older with underlying health conditions in counties that can attest a majority of their senior population has been vaccinated (was previously March 29)
- March 29: All migrant and seasonal farmworkers, seafood and food processing workers, residents in low-income senior housing, wildland firefighters, pregnant women 16 and older
- April 19: Frontline workers as defined by the CDC, multigenerational household members, and Oregonians 16 and older with underlying health conditions (was previously May 1)
- May 1: All Oregonians over 16 years old (was previously July 1)
Many people have asked how they will know if their employees classify as frontline workers eligible before May 1. Here is OHA’s three-part definition:
- The employee has regular close contact with others outside of their household (less than six feet); and
- The employee has routine (more than 15 minutes per person(s)) close contact with others outside of their household; and
- They cannot perform their job duties from home or another setting that limits the close or routine contact with others outside of their household.
Also, the industry has to be defined by the CDC as essential.
Employers do not have to provide their employees with verification that they qualify as frontline workers. However, the state is relying on individual employers to define who within their workforce meets the definition. The state also notes that many employers have workers with underlying health conditions that would qualify for the vaccine before May 1, and OHA hopes employers will communicate that this group also qualifies before the general population.
The vaccine is free for all Oregonians, and no proof of work or citizenship is required to receive one. Insurance is not required, but people with insurance are encouraged to bring their insurance information to their appointment.
Information provided by Oregon Business & Industry