Vaccines

Using Storytelling to Increase Vaccine Confidence

The availability of accurate COVID-19 information that is culturally- and linguistically relevant is essential to keeping communities safe. Refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities experience numerous challenges to successful COVID-19 vaccination, many of which stem from a different understanding of COVID-19 and vaccines, especially as it applies within their community, as well as a well-founded lack of trust in governmental organizations and systems.

Phone Trees to Facilitate Vaccine Access

To respond effectively to COVID-19 and to longstanding health inequities made worse by the pandemic, it is essential to leverage community strengths and trusted community networks.

Initiating the COVID-19 Vaccine Conversation through Flyers

Refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities experience numerous challenges to successful vaccination efforts, many of which stem from concerns about COVID-19 and vaccines, especially as it applies within their community, as well as a well-founded lack of trust in governmental organizations and systems. Common questions from RIM communities about the COVID-19 vaccine include:

Assisting Migrants Accessing Second COVID-19 Vaccine Doses

Migrants often travel state-to-state, or country-to-country for seasonal work. Frequent moves can make accessing second COVID-19 vaccine doses incredibly difficult and could result in the unsuccessful completion of the second shot in a two-dose vaccine. Knowledge of the difficulty in finding a second dose could also prevent migrants from beginning the vaccination process. Migrants are burdened by many barriers to vaccine access, including language, low literacy, transportation, and technological barriers, and are often limited time to take off from work.

Using Facebook Groups to Navigate the COVID-19 Vaccine Sign-Up Process

COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available in the United States. As vaccine allocation includes a larger proportion of the population, understanding and overcoming challenges to vaccination experienced by different communities is essential to ensuring equitable vaccine implementation.

COVID-19 Vaccine Sign Up through Trusted Messengers

Many refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) community members experience significant logistical barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. As vaccine allocation and expanded eligibility increases across the United States, many vaccine campaigns rely on internet-based registration and utilize locations that accommodate large numbers of people for vaccine administration. This strategy can be ineffective for many RIM communities due to a variety of factors.

Referral Systems for Vaccine Access

In the COVID-19 response, partnerships are essential to reach underserved communities, maximize resources, reduce duplication of efforts, and improve the delivery of culturally- and linguistically-appropriate services and resources. It is essential to draw on community strengths and trusted community networks to respond effectively to COVID-19 and to longstanding health inequities made worse by the pandemic. Collaboration allows limited federal, state, and local resources to be targeted and allocated to areas that need the resources most.

Multilingual COVID-19 Vaccine Education Workshops

Many refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) community members experience significant cultural, linguistic, and logistical barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. Accessing the COVID-19 vaccine presents several challenges, including digital literacy, transportation, and navigating unfamiliar vaccination sites. But even more importantly, before a community member seeks out a COVID-19 vaccine, there may remain lingering questions and concerns regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.

Partnerships with Refugee Resettlement Agencies

In the COVID-19 response, partnerships are essential to reach underserved communities, maximize resources, reduce duplicating efforts, and improve the delivery of services and resources. Refugee resettlement agencies and local health departments work independently and collaboratively to ensure that the people and communities they serve are healthy.

Vaccine Ambassadors Program

Many community members have questions regarding COVID-19 vaccines. In particular, organizations that work in the community and often serve as information hubs have a specific need to ensure that their staff have up-to-date information about COVID-19 vaccines that they feel comfortable sharing.

Embedding Equity throughout the COVID-19 Response Organizational Structure

To reach communities that are most impacted by inequities during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is essential to integrate considerations for these communities of focus into all aspects of the response efforts. When equity work is sequestered to one area of the response, there are often siloes in the work and equity considerations can become reactive instead of proactive.

Physician-Driven Vaccine Outreach

Refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities experience numerous challenges to successful vaccination, many of which stem from a different understanding of COVID-19 and vaccines, especially as it applies within their own community, as well as a well-founded lack of trust in governmental organizations and systems.

Pop-Up Vaccination Events at Community Clinics

Many refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) community members experience significant logistical barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. As vaccine allocation in the United States includes increasing numbers of people, many vaccine campaigns rely on internet-based registration, and utilize locations that can accommodate large numbers of people for vaccine administration. This strategy can be ineffective for many RIM communities due to a variety of factors.

Culturally-Specific Vaccine Information Broadcasts

As public interest and questions about COVID-19 vaccines continue to grow, community members are looking to their trusted sources to get accurate and reliable information about the vaccines. Especially for refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities, well-established, linguistically relevant media outlets are critical sources to access the most up-to-date guidance.

COVID Champions: Trusted Faith Leaders

The availability of accurate COVID-19 information that is culturally- and linguistically-appropriate is essential to keeping communities safe. Likewise, it is also important to provide information via channels that community members actively use and trust.  

COVID-19 Vaccine Collaborative

COVID-19 vaccines are becoming more widely available in the United States. As vaccine allocation includes a larger proportion of the population, understanding and overcoming challenges to vaccination experienced by different communities is essential to ensuring equitable vaccine implementation.

Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccine Sites

Many refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) community members experience significant logistical barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. As vaccine allocation in the United States includes increasing numbers of people, many vaccine campaigns rely on internet-based registration and utilize locations that accommodate large numbers of people for vaccine administration. This strategy can be ineffective for many RIM communities due to a variety of factors.

Mobile Vaccine Units to Serve Communities

In the COVID-19 response, some sites are challenged when it comes to offering and vaccinating significant numbers of refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) community members at mainstream vaccination sites due to transportation barriers, language access issues, and challenges regarding stigma. This challenge exists for both administering the COVID-19 vaccine and routine vaccinations, especially in the pediatric population.

Convenient Vaccine Access for Communities

Immunization rates are lower among refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) communities due, in part, to challenges accessing healthcare services. The requirement in most of the U.S., that a person must visit a medical facility to receive medical services, is a large barrier for many individuals and communities, particularly for preventive health care such as immunizations. This is due to many factors which include cost (e.g. time away from work), transportation, and complexity of navigating a medical system for appointments, especially if your primary language is not English.

Vaccine Campaign Partnerships with Faith-Based Organizations

CUHCC Promotional Event

Immunization rates are lower among refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) communities due to factors which include cultural and linguistic diversity, knowledge and beliefs about a disease and vaccine, and challenges accessing healthcare (related to cost, transportation, medical system complexity/unfamiliarity, lack of welcoming environment, etc.). This challenge is expected to persist as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes increasingly available.

Vaccine Listening Sessions with Communities

Health departments are working quickly to implement plans for COVID-19 vaccine roll-out. As news and messaging around COVID-19 vaccines unfolds rapidly, some communities may have questions and concerns about what to expect. 

Facebook Videos to Engage Communities

The availability of accurate COVID-19 information that is culturally- and linguistically-appropriate is essential to keeping communities safe. Likewise, it is also important to provide information via channels that community members actively use and trust.