Reaching people where they are 

Some of our neighbors may find it challenging to get to a COVID-19 vaccine clinic. Folks who live in remote areas. People who can’t get time off work. Individuals who are houseless. To reach people where they are, local public health workers are getting creative.  

Neva Anderson is an emergency manager and recently led an effort to get truck drivers vaccinated in Linn County where she works. Commercial truck drivers often work long hours and can travel hundreds of miles a day. To make COVID-19 vaccinations for truck drivers as easy as possible, Anderson’s team visited two truck stops in Linn County, Loves in Albany and Pioneer Villa Truck Plaza in Halsey, where they vaccinated 68 drivers on April 9. 

Commercial truck drivers’ clinic in Linn County

Anderson is also partnering with Gates Community Church of Christ in Gates to make sure folks in that community have convenient access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Anderson said, “Wildfires devasted the area last year and the church opened its doors to help coordinate supplies for people who lost their homes and needed the basics to get by, like food and shelter. Now we are collaborating with them again so we can provide outreach clinics to folks in the canyon.” That includes vaccinating people at local food banks as they pick up their groceries.  

Volunteers from the Linn County Medical Reserve Corp, Linn County staff and Albany Fire Department emergency personnel are helping with these vaccination efforts. 

All over the state people are finding creative ways to make the COVID-19 vaccine available. Here are some upcoming clinics: 

Heart of Hospice is holding a drop-in COVID-19 vaccination clinic at The Dalles Senior Center 1112 W 9th St in The Dalles. The clinic is on Thursday May 6 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. The Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be used. The event is open to anyone and no insurance is required.

Golden Dawn Clinic offers an ongoing COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Portland at 8035 SE Holgate Blvd. They are open Mon-Sat from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Call 503-788-9378 to schedule an appointment. 

This article first appeared in the May 4, 2021 issue of Oregon Coronavirus Update.