Several social service agencies in Portland are holding clinics to vaccinate homeless residents over the age of 50.
Officials with Greater Portland Health estimate they’ve vaccinated over 200 individuals experiencing homelessness through clinics at housing sites and the Preble Street Resource Center. This week, the groups are planning to offer vaccines at hotels for the homeless community.
Preble Street Health Services Director Caitlin Corrigan says several agencies have worked together to spread the word about the clinics and call eligible residents.
“Anyone in that age availability who was homeless, or were recently homeless, we were reaching out to, any way we could, in order to get the word out,” she says.
Corrigan says the availability of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine has made a big difference in their vaccination efforts, as it doesn’t require administering a second dose to a population that can be difficult to reach.
“It’s hard to track people down in this community - folks don’t have phones. So for people to check that off their list, to do it, and be done, I think we’re going to see a much higher success rate. And I know for a lot of people, that was a real value-add for them, when they heard it was just a one-shot vaccine,” she says.
Greater Portland Health says it is planning to hold additional clinics this week at hotels housing people experiencing homelessness.