I recently received my first COVID-19 vaccine from Portland Fire & Rescue and I want to make sure you know about all the incredible work they are doing throughout the city to ensure Portland is vaccinated quickly, safely, and with equity at the forefront.
Teaming up with Multnomah County health officials, Portland Fire & Rescue has thus far administered over 12,000 vaccinations across 13 clinics. Almost all these clinics have been based around targeted outreach to our BIPOC and harder to reach community members.
I’m thankful for the leadership of Chief Boone and everyone at Portland Fire & Rescue. They continue to step up to improve the lives of Portlanders throughout the City.
As Portland Fire & Rescue's Commissioner, I had previously turned down multiple opportunities to be vaccinated because I had feelings of guilt. I asked myself, Are there others that should be prioritized? Is now the best time for me to do this?
Knowing that Black communities have a valid distrust of government vaccines based on our history and looking to safely get back to interacting with Portlander’s in person, I decided the time was right to show leadership and get vaccinated.
The distrust many in the Black community have regarding the COVID-19 vaccine is based on our history. That history includes a horrible United States government study of syphilis that left Black men in Tuskagee, Alabama to suffer from the disease.
Multnomah County has put together a web page where you can find details about the diversity in COVID-19 vaccine studies. I hope this information will help alleviate these valid concerns. You can find that information here: https://multco.us/novel-coronavirus-covid-19/diversity-vaccine-studies
To turn the corner on this pandemic, we must rapidly vaccinate our city, state, and country. Anyone that has an opportunity to get vaccinated should take that opportunity immediately. More and more people are becoming eligible by the day. To determine if you are eligible for the vaccine, check out https://govstatus.egov.com/find-covid-19-vaccine
I can tell you that after getting my vaccine, I’m feeling great and looking forward to getting my second shot soon. We are going on over a year of this continuing pandemic and there will still be hard times to come. But nothing inspires me more than the city I serve, and I can’t wait to see the beautiful faces of Portland in person soon.