Vast Majority of Workers Comply with Oregon and Washington Vaccine Mandates | Local News



TUALATIN, Oregon (KPTV) – The deadline has come and passed for state employees, healthcare workers and educators in Oregon and Washington to get vaccinated against COVID-19, get a exemption approved or lose their jobs.

As we checked with agencies, hospitals and school districts in our area, the vast majority of people complied with the warrants, in most cases over 90 percent.

OLYMPIA, Washington (AP) – More than 1,800 Washington state employees have been laid off, resigned or retired due to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination …

Governor Kate Brown thanked Oregon residents for getting the vaccine on Tuesday.

“From healthcare workers in K to 12 educators, first responders and state employees, thousands of other Oregonians have been vaccinated to protect themselves against COVID-19 in recent weeks,” the governor said Brown. “You’ve helped protect some of our most critical workplaces from disruption caused by COVID-19. “

Yet there are thousands of people who are now out of work because of it.

Jennifer Brooks, now a former intensive care nurse for Legacy Meridian Park in Tualatin, is one of them.

She said after weighing the risks and benefits of the vaccine, she decided she wouldn’t get it and didn’t ask for a waiver.

So on Monday, she lost her job.

“I lead a healthy lifestyle, I am young, I have no co-morbidities and since the injections were all very new, very quickly produced and mass-vaccinated in the public, I didn’t think it was. the wisest decision for myself, ”she said.

Federal regulators have said extensive testing has shown all three vaccines to be safe and effective.

We asked Brooks, especially as a healthcare worker, why not make this personal sacrifice for the greater good.

“My career in health care started in the military, I was a combat medic, so it’s not a foreign concept for me; however, there is a difference between being willing to sacrifice yourself personally for something you believe in versus selling yourself, selling your integrity and autonomy in order to meet a demand, ”she said.

A few miles from the hospital where she once worked, a small group has come together to show support for those in her plight and speak out against the vaccine’s mandate.

Firefighter Scott Steiner is vaccinated but said everyone should be able to make that choice for themselves.

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“It was my choice. I’m really glad I made that choice, I support the choice, but the people who are forced to make it and whose choice is taken away, that’s what I’m fighting for, this ‘that’s why I’m here, “he said.

Brooks said it was a financial hardship and health care had been her entire career, but was worth it even though she isn’t sure what she will do next.

“It is a sacrifice that I am ready to make to stand up for myself and all the other nurses, doctors, firefighters, police officers, teachers who choose not to do this and that they should not be forced to do it”, he added. she said.

Many at the rally on Tuesday night are from the Free Oregon and Mandate Free Oregon groups, which have spoken out openly on this issue.

They filed a petition against Oregon’s vaccination warrant last month, but it was denied last week.

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