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SEIU leads with its values on vaccine rollout

January 5, 2021

Local 199 members are almost all essential workers. Our jobs caring for Iowa put us at risk of exposure to COVID-19. Here’s our approach to vaccination.

Our members at the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics (UIHC) have been at ground zero of the coronavirus crisis, so it came as no surprise that the first Iowan to receive the COVID-19 vaccine was UIHC RN David Conway on Dec. 14.

So far, our sense from members across UIHC is that the vaccine rollout is going well. Almost 7,000 out of roughly 15,000 UIHC employees had received a first dose of the vaccine as of January 4. But Local 199 includes many other essential workers at risk of infection: nursing home workers, Head Start teachers and assistants as well as public school aides and custodians. And we want to make sure they’re also protected as soon as possible.

Since vaccines are a proven technology to prevent the spread of disease, our union is encouraging members to get vaccinated. However, we know some are skeptical, so we believe the way forward is through education and outreach, not mandates that might scare away people who urgently need the vaccine. You can read about our union’s approach in this powerful statement of principles.

Our union has also produced a fact sheet with solid, evidence-based answers to frequently asked questions about the COVID vaccines. It’s definitely worth sharing with friends and family outside the union looking for reliable information about vaccination.