SEIU members are essential workers, on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic that has ravaged our communities. As we confront the triple crises of the pandemic, the economic collapse, and ongoing racial injustice, we demand that corporations and elected leaders not just praise us, but respect us, protect us, and pay us. Because we fight for safety, justice, and equity for ourselves, our families, the people we care for and provide service to, and for our communities as a whole, we commit to the following principles regarding the COVID19 vaccine:
- Vaccines are a proven technology to prevent the spread of disease. The COVID vaccine is a critical tool to protect our families, ourselves, and our communities as we fight to put an end to this deadly virus. We encourage SEIU members to take the vaccine.
- Vaccine distribution must be equitable and transparent and must prioritize communities hardest hit by the virus, including essential workers, people with underlying health conditions and disproportionately impacted communities of color.
- Vaccines must be provided free of charge, and workers should be provided with paid time off if the vaccination process requires them to miss work.
- Employers must not use vaccines as a substitute for worker safety and infection control protocols nor for ensuring access to personal protective equipment.
- Vaccine distribution plans must include education and outreach activities that involve essential workers and our communities deeply and meaningfully.
- Outreach and distribution plans must recognize the impact of structural racism in causing trauma and heightened levels of distrust about vaccination in Black and brown communities.
- The best approach to encouraging universal vaccination is through education and outreach, not through making vaccination mandatory.