For Oregonians who live and work in rural areas, getting to a COVID-19 vaccine site may be a challenge. To help make it easier, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sent a mobile vaccine unit (MVU) – along with eight FEMA vaccination support staff – to the state. The MVU team began its service April 5 in Boardman. Oregon Health Authority (OHA), Morrow County Public Health and FEMA, along with community partners like Oregon Rural Action, planned and staffed a multi-day vaccine event. In the first three days, more than 300 people in the Morrow County area were vaccinated.
OHA Field Operations Director, Kassie Clark, coordinated the event along with federal and local partners. “These events are truly a collaborative process with FEMA, the county, and community partners serving those who work and live in the county,” she said.
The MVU is fully equipped with refrigerated storage units and materials to assist clinics using any of the three authorized vaccines. The FEMA team will be assigned to mostly rural areas and specifically focused on reaching out to folks who work in agriculture and food processing.
After the Boardman clinic, pictured, the MVU team travels to Irrigon April 9 and 10, Heppner April 12 and 13, Malheur County April 16, and then Crook County.
This article first appeared in the April 7, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.