With ever-increasing supplies of Covid-19 vaccines pouring into the state of Oregon, it has never been easier for many of those in eligible populations to receive the shot if they want to.
But that has not been the case for everyone. Language, cultural, technological and socio-economic barriers remain, perhaps none so obvious as the challenging facing those tasked with reaching the homeless population throughout Clackamas County.
Paramedics with the Clackamas Fire Community Medicine Program visited a homeless encampment outside Oregon City Wednesday to administer immunizations to more than a dozen people.
Clackamas Fire shared photos on Twitter and said the program would be visiting other areas throughout the district where residents may not be able to easily access the vaccine.
During a press conference Friday morning, Governor Kate Brown highlighted the efforts of Clack Fire paramedic Amy Jo Cook and her colleagues in this outreach.
“Amy Jo vaccinated 12 people for Covid-19 who were at-risk but might not otherwise have been able to get immunized,” Brown said. “Her experience taught her that she’d need to take advantage of these kinds of moments to gain the best results.”
The team next plans to drop in at a local shelter during lunch and shower times to engage more at-risk individuals who want to be vaccinated for Covid-19.
“This kind of outreach can take a little time,” said Brown, “but it’s vitally important to helping us reach community immunity.”
The state of Oregon has administered almost 2 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine to more than 1.2 million eligible adults so far. More than 700,000 Oregonians have been fully vaccinated — representing about 18% of the state’s population.
Health officials say the state can’t reach the threshold for herd immunity until at least 75-80% of residents have been immunized.
Those interested in taking the vaccine may also register with the state at getvaccinated.oregon.gov to be notified of appointments when they are available for your eligibility group.
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