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Brown To Require All Healthcare Workers And Educators To Be Vaccinated

Screenshot from Governor's press conference

Gov. Kate Brown said Thursday that all Oregon healthcare workers and K-12 educators will need to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The announcement comes as hospitals around the state are struggling with a surge of patients, the vast majority of whom are unvaccinated. Brown said the requirement for teachers will also apply to support staff and volunteers. And she said she knows the mandate won’t be popular in all parts of Oregon.

“COVID-19 poses a threat to our kids, and our kids need to be protected, and they need to be in school,' she said. "And that’s why I’m willing to take the heat for this decision.” 

The state’s largest teachers’ union issued a statement in support of the vaccination requirement.


“[Oregon Education Association] believes that today’s vaccine requirement will help provide stability for our students this fall and will help improve safety in our schools and in our communities," said the organization's president, Reed Scott-Schwalbach.

The vaccination requirement takes effect Oct. 18, or six weeks after full FDA approval of a vaccine, whichever comes later. 

Chris Lehman has been reporting on Oregon issues since 2006. He joined the KLCC news department in December 2018 and became News Director in March 2023. Chris was born and raised in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Temple University with a degree in journalism. His public broadcasting career includes stops in Louisiana and Illinois. Chris has filed for national programs including “Morning Edition” and “All Things Considered.”
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