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Grocery store workers 'livid' they have to wait until May for Covid-19 vaccine

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As more Oregonians become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, some essential workers feel left behind.

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 4:32 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2021 4:38 PM

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PORTLAND, Oregon (KPTV) -- As more Oregonians become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, some essential workers feel left behind.

Grocery store workers say they’re upset they don’t become eligible until May 1.

“They were livid. They’re livid,” Melody said of her coworkers. She’s a grocery store worker and a vice president of United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 555, which represents 25,000 workers in Oregon. For job protection, FOX 12 is not naming where Melody works.

Melody told FOX 12 it’s vital she and her frontline colleagues become eligible sooner than the two months they have to wait under Oregon Gov. Kate Brown’s newly released COVID-19 vaccine prioritization timeline.

“Without us, people would not be able to have food on their table and the essentials that they need in order to run a home,” she said.


RELATED: Oregon's vaccine schedule will next prioritize adults with underlying conditions, seasonal workers, and the homeless


Grocery store workers encounter hundreds of people each day. They can’t stay home or shelter in place. No matter how you live your life, your bubble likely includes a grocery store employee.

“I see on a daily basis that people don’t care and…I hear people saying, 'It’s not my responsibility to make sure others are safe. It’s not my responsibility to make sure that they are doing what has been asked of us from CDC,'” she said.

Melody has a grandson with health risks. The sooner she can get a vaccine, the sooner she can spend time with family and feel safer at work.

“We are all responsible for each other and it’s going to take all of us to get through this together,” said Melody. “It doesn’t mean that you have the right to be selfish and it doesn’t mean you have the right to put essential workers on the bottom of a list, so that they can continue to put their lives in danger while others disregard the mandates that have been put in place.”

Melody and Dan Clay, the president of UFCW Local 555, took their concerns to Oregon lawmakers Monday, pleading to be moved up on the eligibility timeline.

Clay said if you are called essential and asked to take on the risk of being a grocery store worker, you should have support from the community that’s asked you to do that.

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 173626

Reported Deaths: 2457
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah34641566
Washington23309229
Marion20037299
Clackamas15216204
Lane11478144
Jackson9846127
Umatilla795383
Deschutes698772
Linn410763
Yamhill407074
Malheur342558
Polk341752
Klamath340859
Josephine304262
Douglas302765
Benton272518
Jefferson205932
Coos196631
Columbia153326
Union141124
Lincoln129720
Wasco128628
Hood River112429
Morrow107815
Clatsop8838
Crook86819
Baker85114
Curry5919
Tillamook5763
Lake4137
Grant4044
Harney3046
Wallowa1575
Sherman570
Gilliam551
Wheeler251
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 3714587

Reported Deaths: 60922
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles122811823601
Riverside2972154525
San Bernardino2944644544
San Diego2745663662
Orange2687624886
Santa Clara1167722013
Kern1077641317
Sacramento1010581646
Fresno1004311642
Alameda850891475
Ventura802301000
San Joaquin714311334
Contra Costa66839781
Stanislaus603061028
Tulare49383829
Monterey43260352
San Mateo41050560
San Francisco35947517
Santa Barbara33830446
Solano31875239
Merced31196452
Sonoma29632311
Imperial27920718
Kings22755245
Placer21751283
San Luis Obispo20917256
Madera16234239
Santa Cruz15554203
Marin13851226
Yolo13547199
Shasta11677217
Butte11529196
El Dorado9688109
Napa965479
Sutter9268109
Yuba609844
San Benito596963
Lassen566624
Tehama543056
Nevada444775
Tuolumne406664
Mendocino398747
Amador361646
Humboldt358737
Lake339943
Glenn235425
Colusa219216
Calaveras205551
Siskiyou194021
Inyo141738
Del Norte12747
Mono12734
Plumas6906
Modoc4884
Mariposa4197
Trinity3985
Sierra1100
Alpine880
Unassigned610
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