Pacific Islanders most impacted by COVID-19, not prioritized for vaccine

Marion County’s Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, contracting the virus at more than three times the rate of white individuals. 

Case rates continue to skyrocket, and Islanders are being hospitalized and dying at nearly twice the rate of any other race or ethnicity. 

Similar patterns have been seen nationally and statewide. 

Despite that, citing federal discrimination laws, the Oregon Health Authority has declined to prioritize racial groups for vaccine distribution, adding to a long list of barriers facing these communities.

Read the full story, including input from area Islander leaders, here.

Published by Natalie Pate

Natalie Pate is a freelance journalist and author based in Salem, Oregon. She wrote about education for more than seven years at the Statesman Journal and now covers education and other topics throughout the Pacific Northwest. She is originally from Colorado and earned her B.A. in Politics and French from Willamette University.

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