PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Monday is the final day for certain workers in Oregon and Washington to get a COVID-19 vaccine and keep their jobs.
In both states, teachers and healthcare workers are required to be fully vaccinated by October 18. This means Monday, Oct. 4 is the last day for individuals to either get their second dose of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine — or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot — to be considered fully vaccinated in time.
Per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people are fully vaccinated from the coronavirus two weeks after a completed vaccination series.
As the vaccination deadline looms, some healthcare facilities are seeing an increase in staffing issues. Four local Legacy-GoHealth Urgent Care were forced to close last Thursday due to “temporary staffing constraints.”
The locations in West Linn, Pearl District, Lake Oswego and Camas shut their doors until further notice. However, a spokesperson told KOIN 6 News they are consolidating services and expanding capacity at the locations in Oregon City, Raleigh Hills, N. Williams and Cascade Park.
A statement from the Oregon Nurses Association makes it clear vaccine exemptions are definitely a reason for the staffing issues.
“Nurses in the labor and delivery department at Legacy Silverton Hospital report that every religious exemption request, and a number of medical exemption requests, have been denied. We are told that 18 nurses, nearly half of the nursing staff in that department, are facing termination. ONA is seeing similar reports from other Legacy Silverton Hospital units, and we are hearing deep concern from nurses at Legacy facilities (not represented by ONA) in the Portland area,” the statement said.
Staffing is not the only pushback seen from this mandate over the last few months. Multiple Oregonians have filed lawsuits against Gov. Kate Brown in response.