PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Governor Brown visited a vaccine clinic in Forest Grove on Wednesday where she applauded the clinic’s efforts to close gaps in vaccination equity.
The governor stopped by a mobile vaccination clinic at the Forest Grove Farmers Market, operated by Adelante Mujeres. She was joined by representatives of Washington County and Adelante. Brown’s office said the clinic is an example of the county’s efforts to reach Latino, Latina and Latinx communities, as well as communities of color.
“Vaccination is our path out of this pandemic. Community partnerships like the one between Washington County and Adelante Mujeres are key to increasing vaccination rates and closing vaccination equity gaps for our Black, Indigenous, Latino, Latina, Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Tribal, and communities of color,” said Brown.
Those working at the Adelante Mujeres clinic said the key to success is partnerships and taking the vaccine to those who need it. One woman said vaccine mandates at work prompted her to visit the clinic on Wednesday.
“I was told I had to and my exemption would not be held in an academic arena even though I’m not in contact with kids, so I bit the bullet,” she told Brown. The woman’s 12-year-old daughter also opted to get vaccinated at the same time, saying she wanted to support her mom.
Washington County Board of Commissioners Chair Kathryn Harrington explained how partnerships and culturally appropriate outreach helped to boost vaccination rates. She said the mobile clinic makes a point to travel into the communities they serve. Staff also hand out tokens as an incentive that can be exchanged for food at the farmer’s market.
“Because of the partnership here with Adelante Mujeres, we are able to bring Washington County health resources to deliver the vaccination,” she said. “Then through their partnership, make those additional incentives with good, nutritious food from our local communities available.”
Brown applauded the partnership.
“It provides people with healthy food, it sustains the local farmers here and it gets people access to much-needed vaccines,” she said.
Earlier this week, Washington County became the first county in Oregon to vaccinate 80% of the population. Brown’s office said Wednesday that the county has now vaccinated more than 81% of adults. Harrington said the vaccination rate for the Black and Latino community is at about 60%. She said that figure is an improvement but there is more outreach work to be done. The mobile clinic plans to travel to various events celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month throughout the county.