A Medical Teams volunteer in gown, gloves, mask, and face shield stands outside the van at a COVID testing clinic.(Portland, OR) March 17, 2021 – Medical Teams International is pleased to announce that it has been approved by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to begin distributing the COVID-19 vaccine. The organization’s staff and network of medical volunteers will administer the vaccine, with a focus on reaching communities that are underserved and people lacking health insurance.

“We are thankful for this approval and are eager to move forward with vaccine distribution in Oregon,” said Cindy Breilh, Executive Director of US Programs for Medical Teams International. “This will enable us to reach many of Oregon’s most vulnerable populations with protection from this disease that has disproportionately affected them and their families.”

Medical Teams began testing for COVID-19 in Oregon in partnership with the OHA in June 2020. It began testing in Washington shortly after the pandemic began as an official partner of the Washington State Department of Health. In total over the past year, the organization has tested approximately 33,000 people in 28 counties throughout the two states.

With the guidance and direction of the OHA, Medical Teams will continue testing for COVID-19 among vulnerable people groups and for those with poor access, supporting OHA’s equity initiatives. Testing remains critically important since the vaccine is in high demand and limited supply, and there are highly contagious variants now present nationwide.

About Medical Teams International

Founded in 1979, Medical Teams International provides life-saving medical care for people in crisis, such as survivors of natural disasters and refugees. We care for the whole person— physical, emotional, social and spiritual. Daring to love like Jesus, we serve all people—regardless of religion, nationality, sex or race. Learn more at medicalteams.org and on social media using @medicalteams.