State worker vaccine deadline arrives in Oregon, Washington

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Vaccine mandate took effect October 18, 2021

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Today is the deadline for state workers in Washington and Oregon to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they have a religious or medical exemption. 

State employees have until 11:59 p.m. Monday to become fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. October 4 was the final day to receive a second dose of Pfizer or Moderna — or the single-dose Johnson & Johnson shot — to be considered fully vaccinated in time.

Leaders in Multnomah County told KOIN 6 News that only about 20 workers out of 6,000 have not been vaccinated yet. Meanwhile, over 500 Department of Corrections employees have not either applied for an exemption or gotten even one shot yet.

According to the CDC, the transmission of COVID-19 in Oregon is still considered high with a positivity rate somewhere between 5% and 8%. This isn’t independent to just Oregon — most counties in every single state have a high transmission rate of infection, according to the agency.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee talked about the vaccine deadline a few days ago. At that time, Inslee said that he didn’t believe that government services would see any big impact from people leaving.

He added that more than 90% of state workers in Washington were already vaccinated heading into the weekend.

“We have been successful in this effort because in Washington we have state employees who are committed to public service, trying to prevent increasing rates of infection, (and) who care about the people they serve as well as their own selves and their families,” said Inslee.

KOIN 6 News reached out to the Oregon State Police, Oregon Health Authority, and area hospitals for comment on the deadline, but did not hear back from them Sunday.

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