SEIU Vaccine Principles and FAQ


Updated March 22, 2021

Accessing COVID-19 Vaccines

In Oregon: The Oregon Health Authority has launched a new eligibility notification tool.

  • The Get Vaccinated Oregon tool allows you to sign up for text messages or emails to learn who’s eligible and when. Once you become eligible, you will be given resources on where to schedule an appointment. To sign up, go to
  • You can also call 211 or 1-866-698-6155 (open 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily), and an operator will help you through this process.

In Southwest Washington: The Washington State Department of Health offers two resources — one to help you determine eligibility and one to help find a vaccination location once eligible.

  • The Vaccine Phase Finder is a short online questionnaire that helps determine your eligibility phase. Once registered, you can choose to receive text or email eligibility notifications.
  • The Vaccine Locator is a searchable database with a list of locations in your area currently providing the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • The website is available in multiple languages. You can also call the state COVID-19 hotline for assistance at 1-800-525-0127 or 1-888-856-5816 (open 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, and 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and on observed state holidays).

Updated March 19, 2021

Straight Talk About the COVID-19 Vaccine

Download FAQ flyers in English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Russian, or Chinese.

Download information sheets from Oregon Health Authority addressing concerns for Muslim and Jewish communities. 

SEIU 49 encourages all healthcare workers to protect themselves with the COVID-19 vaccine. Tens of millions of people around the world have now been safely vaccinated. Many of us have valid questions and concerns about the vaccine. We will continue to provide any up-to-date information about COVID-19 and the vaccine.

Safety and Effectiveness

Is the vaccine safe? Yes. All COVID-19 vaccines were tested in clinical trials involving tens of thousands of people to make sure they meet safety standards and protect adults of different ages, races, and ethnicities. There were no serious safety concerns with either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. For extra safety, the CDC and the FDA are continuing to monitor the vaccines as they are being distributed.

It was produced so quickly, how can we be sure it’s safe? The vaccines went through all the normal steps that any vaccine goes through for approval. Clinical trials were able to move faster than they do for most vaccines because the federal government put billions of dollars into the effort.

How effective is the vaccine? Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are very effective: among people who took the vaccines, there were 94 to 95 percent fewer cases of COVID-19 than among those who did not receive it.

What if I don’t get the second shot within the recommended time? You need both shots to get the full protection of the vaccine. The first shot will only give you limited protection. Even if you miss the deadline, you can still get the second shot.

Can I still spread the virus if I have received the vaccine? We don’t yet know whether people who have been vaccinated can still spread the virus to others who have not received the vaccine. That’s why we all need to continue to wear masks, socially distance, and follow all the necessary public health protocols at work and elsewhere, even after being vaccinated.

Side Effects

Will the vaccine cause side effects? Some people who get a COVID-19 vaccine will experience minor and temporary side effects, particularly following the second dose. People have reported pain at the injection site, fatigue, and occasional fever, headache, or aching muscles and joints. These side effects go away within 1-2 days.

Are there any long-term side effects? No. At this point, there are no long-term safety issues or side effects seen from the vaccine. CDC scientists and medical professionals will continue reviewing vaccine safety and providing information to the public, and will take action if there are new safety concerns.

Can I get COVID-19 from the vaccine? No, you can’t. There are no live virus particles in the vaccine.

Should anyone avoid the vaccine? 

What if I already had COVID-19? Do I still need to get the vaccine? Yes. The vaccine has been shown to give longer protection against the virus than having contracted and recovered from COVID-19. Check with your doctor on how long you should wait to get the vaccine after recovering from COVID-19.

What if I am pregnant or breastfeeding my child? Although we have limited information on pregnancy and the COVID-19 vaccine, there are no known risks of getting the vaccine while pregnant, trying to get pregnant, or breastfeeding. We do know that pregnant women have a higher risk of serious illness if they get COVID-19. If you have more questions, contact your physician.

What if I have diabetes? Yes, it is safe. In fact, people with diabetes are at higher risk of complications from COVID-19 so it is even more urgent that they get vaccinated.

What if I have severe allergies? Allergies are only a problem if you are allergic to the contents of the vaccine. Consult with your primary care doctor if you have concerns or have had a severe allergic reaction to a vaccine in the past.

What about any other health conditions? If you have any concerns about whether a particular health condition might cause complications with the vaccine you should discuss them with your primary care physician before receiving the vaccine.

Other questions

How long will the vaccine protect me? We don’t know yet how long the vaccine will protect us for. Scientists are continuing to monitor people who have already received the vaccine. It’s possible you may need to get a booster shot later to maintain your protection from the virus.

Is the vaccine effective against new strains that have been discovered? Yes. All indications so far are that the vaccines are effective against the new strains.

More information

Lee esto en español

Dedicated SEIU Local 49 members have been on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, saving lives and keeping our community clean and healthy. After nearly a year, we now have the strongest tool available in our fight against COVID-19 with the rollout of the vaccines.

In addition to wearing masks and other PPE, socially distancing, and following other workplace safety procedures, we believe that the COVID-19 vaccine is a critical step forward to help protect the health of essential SEIU 49 members, our families, and our communities–and to help put an end to this devastating pandemic.

Early testing has shown that the vaccine is safe and effective, and that any side effects are minimal and short-lived. Although concerns surrounding the risk of potential side effects, apprehension about the speed at which this vaccine was developed, and our nation’s history of medical discrimination and racism are real, the development and trials have been thorough to date, and information on the vaccine’s efficacy has been clear and forthcoming.

Our elected Executive Board voted to adopt the following principles on COVID-19 vaccination, and strongly encourages SEIU 49 members to get the vaccine when available as we believe it is a vital tool to help us move forward from COVID-19. We will continue to provide education and resources when we have them.

  • Oregon Members can check here to see when you qualify to receive the vaccine and get other information.
  •  Washington Members can check here to see when you qualify to receive the vaccine and get other information.
  •  If you have Kaiser Health Insurance you can check here for additional information on how to get the vaccine through Kaiser.

“It took a while to decide whether or not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, but in the end, I did. There are so many people across the world that would literally die for the opportunity to get this vaccine that I thought it selfish to turn it down. Together we can all stop the spread of COVID-19.”

-Lorie Quinn, EVS, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart

SEIU Principios y preguntas frecuentes sobre la vacuna

Los miembros dedicados de SEIU Local 49 han estado al frente de la pandemia de COVID-19, salvando vidas y manteniendo nuestra comunidad limpia y saludable. Después de casi un año, ahora tenemos la herramienta más sólida disponible en nuestra lucha contra COVID-19 con el lanzamiento de las vacunas.

Además de usar máscaras y otros EPP, distanciarse socialmente y seguir otros procedimientos de seguridad en el lugar de trabajo, creemos que la vacuna contra COVID-19 es un paso fundamental para ayudar a proteger la salud de los miembros esenciales de SEIU 49, nuestras familias, y nuestras comunidades, y ayudar a poner fin a esta pandemia devastadora.

Las pruebas iniciales han demostrado que la vacuna es segura y eficaz, y que los efectos secundarios son mínimos y de corta duración. Aunque las preocupaciones al riesgo de posibles efectos secundarios, la aprensión sobre la velocidad a la que se desarrolló esta vacuna, y la historia de discriminación y racismo médicas en nuestra nación son reales, el desarrollo y los ensayos han sido exhaustivos hasta la fecha, y la información sobre la eficacia de la vacuna ha sido claro y comunicativo.

Nuestra Mesa Directiva votó para adoptar los siguientes principios sobre la vacunación contra el COVID-19 y alienta a los miembros de SEIU 49 a recibir la vacuna cuando esté disponible, ya que creemos que es una herramienta vital para ayudarnos a avanzarnos desde COVID-19. Continuaremos brindando educación y recursos cuando los tengamos.

  • Los miembros de Oregon pueden consultar aquí para ver cuándo califican para recibir la vacuna u obtener otra información.
  • Los miembros de Washington pueden consultar aquí para ver cuándo califica para recibir la vacuna u obtener otra información.
  • Si tienes seguro médico de Kaiser, puedes consultar aquí para obtener información adicional sobre cómo obtener la vacuna a través de Kaiser.


“Me tomó un tiempo decidir si recibir o no la vacuna COVID-19, pero al final, lo hice. Hay tantas personas en todo el mundo que literalmente morirían por la oportunidad de recibir esta vacuna que pensé que era egoísta rechazarla. Juntos podemos detener la propagación del COVID-19.”

-Lorie Quinn, EVS, PeaceHealth Sacred Heart

Comments are closed.