Latino groups rebuke state’s coronavirus vaccine drive, state stands chastened –


So many things here:

Latino advocacy groups fired a frank and emotional broadside at state health officials Thursday, claiming Oregon has all but ignored their pleas to ensure more Latinos get vaccinated against the coronavirus.

While short on quantifiable requests for funds, vaccine doses or clinics, the speakers at a news conference organized by the Latino Network displayed a sense of urgency, citing disheartening statistics and warning of the impending doom riding in on the coronavirus pandemic’s fourth wave.

I am not at all convinced that the Oregon Health Authority is any worse for Latinos than they are for any other ethnic group. OHA is terrible for everybody.

It also doesn’t help a cause to complain but not know what you need. It’s not helpful to say we need more X, Y, and Z if you can’t say how much more of X, Y, and Z you need. In a scarce resource environment (and when making a complaint of any kind), specifics are important.

They pointed blame in one principal direction: at the state and its alleged failure to work with and sufficiently fund the groups most in touch with the Latino community.

This could well be accurate. OHA is notoriously bad at sharing. At the same time, “give us more money” seems like that may not be the right solution either. I doubt very much any of these groups have any vaccine distribution expertise.

“Clearly, the things we’re doing right now aren’t getting traction fast enough,” Oregon Health Authority Director Patrick Allen told The Oregonian/OregonLive in an interview Thursday after the groups’ news conference, adding that his agency stands ready to “double down” to figure out a path forward.

How awesome is it that the OHA acknowledges what they’re doing isn’t working then says they’re going to try twice as hard? 

Indeed, despite the state’s purported commitment to equitable vaccination, the agency initially failed to accurately measure the extent of the problem.

Allen presented a small Legislative committee with data last week that inflated vaccination rates for most people of color while making whites’ vaccination rates look lower than they actually are.

After being confronted with questions from The Oregonian/OregonLive, and a Portland State University analysis initiated at the newsroom’s request, the health agency corrected its numbers this week in time for Allen’s latest presentation to the committee.

Either the OHA lied or they’re incompetent at their jobs. I’ve always firmly voiced the latter conviction, but this does make one wonder.