COVID-19 Vaccine and Distribution

Vials of COVID-19 vaccine
Vaccine and Distribution

Vaccines are a critical step to slowing and ultimately ending the COVID-19 pandemic. Oregon's COVID-19 vaccination efforts are being led by state and local public health agencies. The UO is working with public partners to provide access to vaccinations and information about vaccine safety, efficacy, and availability.

What You Need to Know

  • According to the Oregon Health Authority’s phased approach to distribution, those working in higher education who meet state criteria for frontline workers are included in Phase 1B. Those employees will be eligible to receive a vaccine on May 1 and when vaccine is allocated to the higher education sector.  
     
  • All higher education employees, regardless of the state criteria, will be eligible no later than July 1 in Phase 2, Group 2.
     
  • UO students are included in Phase 2, Group 2 with an eligibility date of July 1, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s phased approach to distribution.
     
  • UO community members may become eligible for vaccines due to personal circumstances and may register with their county, pharmacy, or health care provider to receive a vaccine. This may be the faster route for getting a vaccine for some individuals. 
     
  • The university continues to work closely with Lane County Public Health and Oregon Health Authority to ensure access to vaccine for all faculty, staff, and students who want it. 
     
  • The UO continues to coordinate with local agencies to provide access to vaccines for employees who are eligible under state guidelines because of their qualifying employment roles. This includes health care providers, first responders, childcare providers, student teachers, early learning staff, and others. 
     
  • There are two important ways to ensure access to the vaccine, a University of Oregon pre-registration form for UO faculty, staff, GEs, and student workers and a separate Lane County-wide registration form for those living in the county, including both students and employees. In addition to the UO pre-registration form for employees, we are encouraging employees and students to take action by also registering with Lane County Public Health or their local healthcare provider. If you reside elsewhere, register through your home county or state. 
     
  • Once vaccines are available, vaccine distribution is expected to span several weeks based on health authority guidance and vaccine supply. 

Vaccine Registration Process

There are two important ways to ensure access to the vaccine,  a University of Oregon pre-registration form for UO employees and a Lane County-wide registration form for county residents, including both students and employees.

In addition to the UO pre-registration form for employees, we are encouraging employees and students to take action by registering with Lane County Public Health or through their healthcare provider.

UO Pre-Registration

Through a pre-registration form, faculty, staff, graduate employees, and student employees are invited to express their interest in being vaccinated by providing information about their current UO employment and work mode – in-person, remote, or hybrid. This process is key to the university’s vaccination preparation and planning.

This is an important first step in an organized approach. It is possible that state guidelines will allow you to receive a vaccine due to personal circumstances through a health care provider, pharmacy or public health clinic before it is available through the university’s process.

Lane County Public Health Registration

Lane County Public Health has opened registration for vaccination to all members of the public, including UO employees and students, through a webform and by phone. It is possible that state guidelines will allow some employees to receive a vaccine due to personal circumstances through a health care provider, pharmacy or public health clinic before it is available through the university’s process. To ensure access, we are encouraging employees and students to take action by registering with Lane County Public Health or through their healthcare provider, in addition to the UO pre-registration form employees already completed. More information on the county’s process is available on the LCPH Covid-19 vaccination page and the LCPH registration form

Vaccine FAQs

Does the UO require COVID-19 vaccinations for students, faculty or staff?

Not at this time. We strongly encourage everyone to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.

The UO will continue to track public health requirements and guidance, best practices, vaccine availability, and other factors in determining whether to require vaccines in the future for those engaging in face-to-face activities at the UO.

I already pre-registered with the University of Oregon, do I need to register with Lane County, too?

Yes. It is possible that state guidelines will allow you to receive a vaccine due to personal circumstances through a health care provider, pharmacy or public health clinic before it is available through the university’s process. Even though you filled out a pre-registration form as an employee with the University of Oregon, we are encouraging you to take action by registering with Lane County Public Health (LCPH) or through your healthcare provider, in addition to the UO pre-registration form you already completed. More information on the county’s process is available on the LCPH Covid-19 vaccination page and the LCPH registration form.

Will the UO be offering vaccinations to faculty, staff, and students?

The UO is working to provide access to free COVID-19 vaccinations for the UO community, in partnership with Lane County Public Health, through jointly sponsored vaccination clinics within Eugene-Springfield.

When will vaccinations begin more broadly for students and employees?

According to the Oregon Health Authority’s phased approach to distribution, those working in higher education who meet state criteria for frontline workers are included in Phase 1B. Those employees will be eligible to receive a vaccine on May 1 and when vaccine is allocated to the higher education sector. All higher education employees, regardless of the state criteria, will be eligible no later than July 1 in Phase 2, Group 2. UO students are included in Phase 2, Group 2 with an eligibility date of July 1, according to the Oregon Health Authority’s phased approach to distribution.

Will the vaccines be provided to students and staff for free?

The UO will be working to create a smooth process and easy access to anyone in the campus community who wishes to receive a vaccination. Availability, cost, and distribution sites are some of the factors that will be considered.

Who is making decisions about vaccine roll out?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is the federal agency that gave each state the guiding vision for how vaccination phases should be defined.

Before guidelines were given to each state, different committees within the CDC—made up of experts from across the country—made recommendations about how vaccines should be used, who should receive them, and when. They even discussed the medical ethics involved with making these decisions that will touch all our lives.

These recommendations were then reviewed by CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) before being finalized and released to states as official guidelines. From there, each state determined their own specific plan. That’s why vaccine roll outs differ from state to state. You can read more about Oregon’s approach to distribution.

Will testing continue to be required as we move into vaccination phases?

Yes. Even as individuals get vaccinated, the protective strategies that we all have become accustomed to—face coverings, physical distancing, symptom self-checks, limited gathering, and taking advantage of free MAP testing—will continue to be important components of our plans.

What if I am a member of the UO community with risk factors such as age or health?

According to the Oregon Health Authority’s phased approach to distribution, UO community members may become eligible for vaccines due to personal circumstances and may register with their county, pharmacy, or health care provider to receive a vaccine. This may be the faster route for getting a vaccine for some individuals. 

Why is it important for students and staff not in a high-risk category to be vaccinated?

The vaccine allows your body’s immune system to develop an antibody response that may protect you from getting sick, or developing a severe illness if you do contract COVID-19. Clinical trials have shown the COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective, and an important step in stopping the pandemic.

Do I need to use accrued leave to receive my vaccinations if my scheduled time is during my work hours?

No, but an employee still needs to work with their supervisor to ensure appropriate coverage while they are out.

Can I use sick leave if side effects from my COVID-19 vaccination prevent me from working?

Yes. Sick leave accrual and use policies are based on employee group, with details provided on the Sick Leave webpage. Refer to the employee leave options on the HR website for more information. In addition, the UO has implemented a temporary emergency sick leave program to be utilized while the university responds to COVID-19. More information on the emergency sick leave program can be found on the HR website.

Which vaccine will the UO receive?

It remains unclear which vaccine the UO will receive and any plans would be subject to change. You can, however, read through CDC guidance for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.

What about UO employees or students living outside Lane County?

The UO will provide access to free COVID-19 vaccinations, in partnership with Lane County Public Health, when they become available under the state and federal distribution priorities, through jointly sponsored vaccination clinics within the Eugene-Springfield community. Employees and students will be able to schedule and travel to vaccination sites in Lane County. At this time, UO efforts are focused within Lane County.

What about members of the UO community in Portland and Charleston?

UO faculty, staff, GEs, and student workers at UO campuses in Portland and Charleston will be able to schedule and travel to vaccination sites in Lane County to receive the vaccines when they are notified through this process. Additional efforts are underway to identify vaccine options locally for students and employees of those campuses as well.

Where can I get more information about the COVID-19 vaccines?

The CDC has published important information regarding the recommended vaccines. Find more facts about COVID-19 vaccines.

If I am vaccinated through personal circumstances before I am scheduled in UO’s employee vaccination process, do I need to do change my pre-registration status?

No. If you are vaccinated through personal circumstances before you are invited through the UO process, you do not need to change your status. When vaccine becomes available, the UO will notify employees of their eligibility to schedule an appointment. At that time, those who have already received vaccines do not need to take action.

Are retired staff eligible to fill out the pre-registration form and be vaccinated through the UO’s process?

The UO’s process follows state guidance and applies to current university employees. Since they are no longer employed at the UO, retirees should pursue vaccination through other means, such as other countywide clinics, medical providers or pharmacies, many of which might provide earlier access.

Are emeriti faculty included in the pre-registration process?

Based on their current and ongoing work with the university, emeriti faculty members may take part in the UO’s pre-registration process and be vaccinated. It is likely, however, that many will have earlier access through other means, such as other countywide clinics, their medical providers or pharmacies.