Vaccine Timeline Accelerated Again for Frontline Workers – 3/29/21

Frontline workers are eligible to begin receiving COVID-19 vaccinations on April 5, according to an accelerated schedule announced by Gov. Kate Brown last week.

Who qualifies as “frontline?” Here’s a simple test OBI worked out with the governor’s office:

  • Does the employee have routine contact (15 minutes or more) with others outside of their household because of their job?
  • Is the employee unable to safely maintain six feet of distance from others while performing the job?
  • Is the employee unable to perform their job duties from home or another remote location that limits contact with people outside of their household?
  • Is the job represented in the broad industry list defined by the CDC as essential? This includes the entire list.

If the answer to all of those questions is yes, the employee is considered a frontline worker who qualifies for the vaccine beginning April 5.

The state is giving employers broad discretion to determine who is frontline. Companies need to apply these tests to different employee groups within their organizations. If they have some employees working remotely who do not meet the test, they are not considered frontline workers.

Importantly, employees DO NOT need to bring proof from their employers that they qualify as “frontline.” Individuals must attest that they meet the qualifications when they sign up for a vaccination, but no further proof is necessary. Also, individuals will not be required to show proof of identification when they receive the shot. If they have an an insurance card, they will be asked to show it, but that is not a requirement.

To get more information you can share with employees about the vaccine, including how to make appointments, access this employer toolkit released by the Oregon Health Authority last week.

Today, Monday, March 29, several groups become vaccine eligible:

  • Adults 45-64 with underlying health conditions,
  • Migrant and seasonal farm workers,
  • Seafood and agricultural workers,
  • Food processing workers,
  • People living in low-income senior housing, senior congregate and independent living,
  • People experiencing homelessness,
  • People currently displaced by wildfires,
  • Wildland firefighters, and
  • Pregnant people 16 and older.

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