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Oregon Health Authority releases details of exceptions to COVID-19 vaccination mandates

(Update: Adding Oregon Nurses Association statement)

For health care, education staff: 'Medical exemption to the COVID vaccine is extremely rare'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --The Oregon Health Authority has released detailed guidelines for health care and school employees seeking COVID-19 vaccination exceptions from the vaccination mandate put in place by Gov. Kate Brown with an Oct 18 deadline.

Medical and religious exemptions are available.

Jessica LeBlanc, chief health officer for Mosaic Medical in Bend, said Thursday that those looking to be medically exempt from the vaccination mandate might be in for a surprise.

"Medical exemption to the COVID vaccine is extremely rare," LeBlanc said.

LeBlanc said very few people will likely be able to claim a medical exception, noting that only those who have had a severe anaphylactic reaction when receiving a first dose of the COVID vaccination or are allergic to any of the components in the vaccine will qualify.

The Oregon Health Authority said a medical exception must be corroborated by a document signed by a medical provider, who is not the individual seeking the exception, on a form prescribed by the OHA, certifying that the individual has a physical or mental impairment that limits the individual’s ability to receive a COVID-19 vaccination based on a specified medical diagnosis, and that specifies whether the impairment is temporary in nature or permanent.

For a religious exception, it must be corroborated by a document, on a form prescribed by the OHA and signed by the individual, stating that the individual is requesting an exception from the COVID-19 vaccination requirement on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief and including a statement describing the way in which the vaccination requirement conflicts with the religious observance, practice, or belief of the individual.

Many official fear the COVID-19 vaccination mandate will further impact the employee shortage in the affected occupation groups.

Last week, officials with both the Oregon Nurses Association and a local school district said they feared employees would leave before having to abide by the mandate.

The Redmond School Board learned Wednesday evening that seven licensed employees including teachers and 17 classified employees including janitors and bus drivers have resigned. Superintendent Dr. Charan Cline said the reasons ranged from being burned out to finding something else to do or "cashing out" amid high property values. He also said they'd asked staffers to wait until the district and its lawyer could review the new OHA rules.

LeBlanc says recent FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccination has helped.

"This will help some of those people that may have been on the fence about their decision make the decision to get vaccinated," LeBlanc said.

News release from the Oregon Nurses Association:

Mandatory Vaccinations For Nurses Are Now The Law In Oregon: What We Do Next Is Crucial
Oregon Nurses Assn. - 08/26/21 2:11 PM

Statement from the Oregon Nurses Association Board of Directors

Tualatin, Ore. - The Oregon Nurses Association Board of Directors unanimously approved the following statement regarding Governor Brown’s recent rule change implementing mandatory vaccinations for health care workers in the state:

“The question of whether or not health care workers should be required to get vaccinated has been answered: mandatory vaccinations against COVID-19 for nurses and other health care workers are now the law in Oregon. 

ONA calls upon all nurses to get vaccinated before the October 18th deadline or, alternatively, fill out the necessary paperwork for a medical or deeply held religious belief exemption. Failure to do so may result in the termination of unvaccinated nurses at a time when Oregon faces an unprecedented staffing crisis.

Our patients and our communities need you at the bedside, now more than ever before. The science is clear: vaccinations are safe and effective, and nurses and other health care workers who are vaccinated are acting in line with our ethical, clinical, and professional responsibilities to our patients. 

To all nurses in Oregon who can, ONA says ‘get vaccinated.’

ONA will continue to fight tirelessly for our members at the bargaining table on the impacts of this new mandatory vaccination requirement.  That includes fighting to ensure you are provided appropriate levels of PPE, paid time off for adverse effects of the vaccination, more (and more substantial) retention and hazard pay, pushing hard for safe staffing, and more.

At a time when nurses, and our state’s health care system, are at the breaking point, we must stand united in the face of historic failures on the part of hospitals to ensure safe staffing. All nurses know that this staffing crisis has been years in the making; the COVID-19 pandemic has simply pushed those failures into the spotlight.

This current level of crisis was created by hospitals who have failed to invest in their nursing staff, failed to recruit and retain experienced nurses, placed a greater focus on profitability than patient outcomes, and have done so at the expense of nurses. 

We have so much work to do for our patients, and for each other. We have so many more issues that unite us than we do that divide us; safe staffing, nurse recruitment and retention, increasing the number of future nurses, increased pay for nursing faculty, iron-clad protections against violence in the workplace, ensuring rest and meal breaks, improving working conditions and wages; these must be our focus now.”

Author Profile Photo

Leslie Cano

Leslie Cano is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Leslie here.



  1. Kiss my ass! I carry 2 EpiPens in my lunchbox for obvious allergic reactions to other things so there buh bye. 99.+ % survivable in case you didn’t know that fact checker fact. Its all about the control! Strong with this one the compliance is~Yoda

    1. Control… The government can’t tie it’s shoe.

      Keep cheating your taxes, watch some more BitChute… We have been hearing the government’s gonna take my guns since the 70’s…control, to what end?

      I still have my guns and freedom… Try helping out your fellow man. We live in the free USA, your just self absorbed and narsistic, no one wants to control you. To what end, tell us….

      Your probably the first to hoard toilet paper when this started… Americans needs to get a pair.

      1. Drip Drip Drip. You are being controlled. And you love it. Try to buy an old regular flow toilet? Ask for plastic bags. Build a deck in your back yard. Try to get 15 round magazines in California. Try to park in the forest without a pass. So many little rules and regulations it’s almost like it never happened. The government tyrants know they can’t unleash it all at once. They will try with this horrendous S1 bill and the “Green New Commie Deal” so drip by drip is how they’ll do it.

        1. I am a LION! We are all LIONS! If we WEREN’T lions, would we have all shared the same picture of a LION? Would our pastor call us his flock if he wasn’t talking about a flock of LIONS? Do your research!
          Bet you won’t have the courage to share this!!!

          ^^^This is how all you “lion” morons sound. Y’all sound like sheep to me.

      1. If that’s what you believe then you should be scared diaperless that the majority of black Americans chose to remain unvaccinated. That will mean about 80% of blacks are now Trump supporters.

    1. Follow the money? Like follow the billions of dollars that it has cost to provide medical care to all the COVID cases regardless if they survived or not? Or follow the money that would have been 10X if we did not have the vaccine to minimize the symptoms and need for expensive medical care if you are vaccinated and did get COVID?

  2. The CDC has known for several months that vaccinated people easily get the Delta variant of Covid 19 and, since their symptoms are often not severe they then become “superspreaders” by walking around in public with super high viral loads of the virus. That’s why the new mask mandates include the vaccinated. So mandating health-care workers be vaccinated is totally counterproductive as it just creates more “superspreaders” to infect the very patients the hospital claims to want to protect. This is widely known in the health-care community but widely ignored because big pharma appears to call all the shots. (pun intended). So our latest surge of Covid cases is not a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” but rather a pandemic exacerbated by the vaccinated.

    1. I love the mental gymnastics on display there trying to somehow reach the conclusion that vaccinated people spread more virus than unvaccinated ones. I mean it has no basis whatsoever in reality, but it was funny watching you flail like that.

      1. Not more but the same. OHA has specifically said that transmission rates between vax and unvax are the same. This would be the same agency requiring the jab.

            1. Reducing the symptoms is ridiculous? It’s unvaccinated people clogging hospitals because of…wait for it…their symptoms. What happens when a medical system is overwhelmed? The death rate goes up. Since a low mortality rate is your go-to line of argument, you of all people should see the value in keeping the number of hospital admissions as low as possible.

    1. How’d you 👀 that, homeless is living on your vehicle or ⛺ or camper etc. Do agree we need more affordable housing here as rent is more absurd than Biden saying rapinoe is everything America stands for. I know Barney will be saying got a link for that 🤨. Saw it on Opera news yesterday.

    2. Nope. Exemption is for those living outside and experiencing homelessness. There is no such legal concept as “houselessness” lol. Nice try. Now mask up.

  3. “LeBlanc says recent FDA approval of the Pfizer vaccination has helped.” With the FDA approval does this mean Big Pharma will be held accountable for any long term or permanent side effects. If so, get vaccinated. If not, stand your ground.

    1. Amazing how conservatives claim tort reform, aka limiting the ability to sue doctors for malpractice is the key to affordable healthcare,e yet wont take a vaccines that is proven safe without the guaranteed ability to try and hit a get rich quick lawsuit.

      John Stewart was right. Conservatives have no sense of hypocrisy.

      1. Proven safe? Did we get this from the clinical trials?
        Before Covid if you had a condition such as cancer and died after getting, let’s say, flu how did we label that death? Flu or cancer?
        How is that same situation labeled today?

        So all deaths now are counted as Covid regardless of you died from Covid or with Covid.
        However, if you suffer side effects or serious injury from the vaccine and you report to vears it is not being taken seriously because it could just be “coincidence.” There are a lot of coincidences in the US alone.
        In the EU their system is called Eudra Vigilance and it reports over 1.5 million vaccine injuries/deaths.

          1. Thanks Barney. I agree with what you’re saying…in that it needs to be researched. I also think these reported side effects need to be taken seriously until a conclusion is reached. There seems to be far too many reports for it to be considered coincidences.

        1. Why do people think there can only be one cause of death? Of course some deaths can be attributed to a single factor, but it is not uncommon for a non-lethal catalyst to cause a specific, or even a systemic, failure that becomes lethal. That’s where the term “complications” becomes necessary. So, a cancer patient may have a compromised immune system which allows (normally survivable) influenza to become lethal to that person. One condition does not cancel the other, they act in concert.

  4. You have no idea who or what you are talking about. I pay my taxes honestly like you should start doing. I watch what I want when I want. I’ve got myself and family prepped. I’ve helped my fellow men and women to right wrongs of corrupt government officials and put them in prison. But call me he’s self-absorbed narcissist and toilet paper hoarder that’s cool. But, actually you are the one that needs to grow a pair and stay in their lane with the blinders on. Get real

  5. Her is an exemption for you, If you are in this great country then you get to choose. Freedom of choice is very special, not many places around the globe are lucky enough to have freedom of choice, let’s not let it slip away America!

    1. Why should they not be eligible for unemployment? Tax payers have paid for people to sit at home for over year even though there are plenty of jobs available.

  6. Not sure what the justification is for mandating vaccines when having previously had COVID previously are far less likely to get sick?
    We are well past the idea of avoiding this…we will all be exposed eventually. If someone hasn’t already had COVID, get vaccinated; but more importantly, improve your immune system by exercising, eating right, maintain a low BMI, and reduce stress (i.e. stop reading news designed to scare you).

  7. Hospitals in Oregon cannot mandate vaccines for employees › news › health › coronavirus
    Jul 20, 2021 — It’s been this way since 1989, when a law was passed stating “an employee shall not be required as a condition of work to be immunized under ..

    I can’t understand if this is still on the books how can they make you take the jab. We are in charge of our bodies and not anyone can tell you what to do with it. Kate Brown has no authority to say otherwise. You can look up the law to see the rest of the story.

    1. Governor’s aide provided this when we asked recently – note last line:
      The Oregon Health Authority has the authority to adopt rules for the control of communicable diseases. Because a state regulation—in this case, an OHA rule—will require vaccination, ORS 433.416(3) does not apply.

      433.416 When employer to provide preventive immunization. (1) An employer of a health care worker at risk of contracting an infectious disease in the course of employment shall provide to the worker preventive immunization for infectious disease if such preventive immunization is available and is medically appropriate.

      (2) Such preventive immunization shall be provided by the employer at no cost to the worker.

      (3) A worker shall not be required as a condition of work to be immunized under this section, unless such immunization is otherwise required by federal or state law, rule or regulation. [1989 c.949 §3]

      “The study demonstrates the power of the human immune system, but infectious disease experts emphasized that this vaccine and others for COVID-19 nonetheless remain highly protective against severe disease and death. And they caution that intentional infection among unvaccinated people would be extremely risky. “

  8. Vaccinations For Nurses Are Now The Law – law? really? Since when did a mandate become a law? or did the legislature convene recently and pass it into a law?

  9. Remember if you claim religious exemption and you are just trying to get out of getting the shot, you are no better than the worse than people your religion condems. There is no loophole for that one.

  10. You will comply. You will Obey. You will suffer until you do what they want you to do! Get it through your heads. You can remain free. But you will be outcasts. You will lose your jobs. You will lose your housing. Heck, the government should even take your kids from you. Get in line and get your jab. Never mind survival rates of Covid 19 are very high. Never mind your concerns about these vaccines. Never mind the vaccinated will be protected from your unclean filthy ethers. Never mind natural immunity for the recovered. OBEY your masters.

  11. Staying on topic here, my wife is a nurse with over forty years experience and a masters degree. She is now retired. She was required to wear a double mask, an N90 type with a surgical mask over that. She could hardly breathe and felt light headed being double masked and add to that being required to take the jab after recovering from a case of covid was just too much. I personally know quite a few nurses who are heading out to other states such as Idaho, South Dakota, Iowa and so on. I would expect there to be a lot of new openings for new nurses here in Oregon.

    PS Why does the postal union workers get a pass?

    1. But we are told no amount of masks make it harder to breathe. Also getting the vaccine after already having covid is so stupid, especially after the latest studies shows having been infected and recovered provides much better protection afterwards than the vaccine. They don’t care about natural immunity at all! They want to see that record you got the vaccine, even if you don’t need it, so you can be part of the stats because you aren’t part of the stats if you have natural immunity!

  12. Anyone know the covid infection rates in Afghanistan? Of course not because those people have real problems to worry about. And thanks to our beloved puppet I mean president I’ll be amazed if we’re still talking about covid in the states in the next few months. I guess time will tell, maybe we should switch up our bdu’s and paint our war machines pink so we know which one of our vehicles to shoot at. Plus it would be much more progressive and “equitable” right?

  13. “Jessica LeBlanc, chief health officer for Mosaic Medical in Bend, said Thursday that those looking to be medically exempt from the vaccination mandate might be in for a surprise….LeBlanc said very few people will likely be able to claim a medical exception, noting that only those who have had a severe anaphylactic reaction when receiving a first dose of the COVID vaccination or are allergic to any of the components in the vaccine will qualify.”

    B ess. The state form simply states “physical or mental condition.” Why would “mental condition” be included on the form if it’s intended to be limited only to those who may have an allergic reaction? My significant other received a medical exemption based on another pre-existing condition.

    Why this isn’t explained in the article is beyond me…unless the point of this article is to present propaganda and not fact.

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