As Oregon closes in on its goal to get 70% of the population vaccinated against COVID-19, Multnomah County health pros are worried about one trend.
The county leaders are concerned about an increase in cases and hospitalizations in the local African American community. Data shows vaccination rates for people of African descent are the second lowest in the state, with about 37% receiving just one dose so far. Libra Forde works for Portland nonprofit Self Enhancement, Incorporated. She tells our news partner KGW: “It makes me immediately think about my immediate family, right? Like, I think about my mother I think about my grandmother, I think about my grandfather, I think about my brother. I think about so many people who look like me.”
Numbers from Multnomah County show between April 1st and May 25th, African Americans were twice as likely to test positive for the virus. Forde’s group, S.E.I., is working to improve those numbers, with vaccine events through the summer.
This comes as Oregon’s mass vaccination sites are getting ready to close up shop for good.
It’s a far cry from the long waits we saw just months ago. Now you can walk in, no appointment necessary. Local medical pros like O.H.S.U. dental resident Ryan Thrower are trying to reinforce the message to vaccine holdouts.
She says, “This vaccine has been slated at over 90% effective which is incredible. When you get over 60%, you are in a good, good position. And I think that should give people comfort.”
The clinic at the Oregon Convention Center will close permanently this coming Saturday, June 19th.
If you want the drive through option, the mass vaccination drive-up site at the Portland airport will also close permanently this Saturday, June 19th. The drive-up site at Hillsboro Stadium is shutting down a bit later, on Tuesday, June 25th. But churches and pharmacies will still offer the vaccines in July.