Throughout the U.S., Black, Indigenous and People of Color have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. To confront inequities and increase access to the vaccine, Lane County Public Health is using some targeted strategies.
Ola Adeniji is the BIPOC Communications Liaison with Lane County Public Health. She said for people of color-- time, trust and technology have been contributing factors to mistrust of government organizations. Stories of the Tuskegee Study on Black Americans are only a few generations removed.
“The legacy of historic experimentation lives on in this current day experience within health care,” she said. “That experience of harm and fear cannot be discounted.”
Adenigi said the smaller, community-based vax clinics may be more trusted by BIPOC populations. Public Health has held several and will mobilize “trauma-informed” care teams to deploy in harder to reach places. She added a Health Literacy and Vaccine Confidence campaign is in the works.
“By taking a community-centered and person first approach to vaccination opportunities, we will ensure that even the most marginalized individuals will be included in the vaccine roll out,” Adenigi said.
To that end, ARC of Lane County, NAACP Eugene/Springfield Chapter, HIV Alliance and Centro-Latino Americano are partnering with the county to schedule vaccine appointments for members of BIPOC communities.