UO leaders, employee groups encourage COVID-19 vaccination

Aerial view of vaccine clinic at Autzen Stadium

The heads of the University of Oregon’s four major employment groups are encouraging every member of the UO community to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Everyone over the age of 16 is eligible to receive a vaccination starting April 19. The UO is holding free mass vaccination clinics for all employees and students this month and next. Individuals may also receive vaccinations through Lane County, their health care provider or pharmacy.

UO President Michael H. Schill and other members of UO leadership are working with the heads of United Academics, the Officers of Administration Council, Service Employees International Union and the Graduate Teaching Fellows Federation to spread the word about the benefits of getting vaccinated.

UA, OAC, SEIU and GTFF represent faculty, officers of administration, classified staff and graduate employees, respectively.

“I am incredibly grateful to all of the individuals who have worked to meet our mission and support our students through the many challenges and uncertainties of the last year,” Schill said. “I join our employment group leadership in encouraging our faculty, classified employees, OAs, graduate employees and students to get vaccinated. This is a crucial step, and a way that we can continue to work together to slow the spread of the virus, protect the health and safety of our community, and recover from the pandemic.”  

Schill, other UO leaders and representatives of the UO’s unions and employee groups will volunteer at the UO vaccination clinics being held for all employees and students that begin the week of April 19. Clinic registration is available on the vaccine website.

Employee group leaders expressed appreciation for the dedication of the campus community and the availability of vaccines. Here’s what they had to say:

Chris Sinclair, president of the United Academics: “It has been amazing to see what the campus community can do in the face of crisis. While COVID-19 is likely here to stay, we can minimize the risk to our community by achieving the highest vaccination rate possible. We encourage all individuals in the campus community who are able to get vaccinated, either through a UO clinic or at your local doctor or pharmacy. With vaccinations and a good wind at our back, we will all see each in person again soon.”

Brady Nittman, OA council co-chair: "The OA Council is grateful to the university for providing this opportunity for employees to receive the vaccine. Vaccination and achieving herd immunity is a huge milestone in our fight against this virus that has taken so much from us. We are excited to see you at Autzen for the clinic."

Stephanie Prentiss, president of SEIU Local 085: “The safe and effective COVID vaccines are the best opportunity to keep our members, our families, and our communities healthy. We are committed to providing the latest information and resources to help keep workers safe and on the job. We look forward to continuing our work ensuring that the University of Oregon delivers on its mission so that we can keep Oregon communities safe through cutting-edge COVID research and mass vaccination clinics. SEIU local membership stands with the university to be able to return to full capacity and provide the most essential work from our most essential workers. The UO works because we do!”

Rajeev Ravisankar, GTFF president: "Since the start of the pandemic, GTFF has advocated for health and safety protocols to protect campus workers, students and community members.  Given the increased availability of vaccines, we strongly encourage graduate employees, student workers, staff and faculty to schedule a vaccination appointment through UO vaccine clinics or through Lane County Public Health or a health care provider. This is an important step for all of us to take in stopping the community spread of COVID-19."

For more information on COVID-19 prevention and vaccinations, visit the coronavirus website.