Think Out Loud

Multnomah County focuses on vaccine education and access for Black residents and African immigrants and refugees

By Allison Frost (OPB)
March 11, 2021 4:41 p.m.

Broadcast: Thursday, March 11

A person wearing a protective gown, gloves and a hat with a face shield holds testing equipment and leans toward the drivers' side window of a car.

Multnomah County's COVID-19 testing at the East County Health Center Community site in Gresham in 2020.

Courtesy Multnomah County


As COVID-19 vaccines become more available, public health efforts are starting to focus on education and access. Charlene McGee manages a program in Multnomah County that aims to improve health for Black residents and African immigrant and refugee communities. Those at greatest risk for preventable disease and negative health outcomes before the pandemic are also the ones at greatest risk from COVID-19, McGee says. McGee joins us to talk about the Racial and Ethnic Approaches to Community Health, or REACH, program, and how it is partnering with community organizations to educate people about the vaccines and working to make sure those who are eligible for the shots can get them.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated to reflect more specifically the populations the REACH program focuses on.

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