Refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) community members have experienced significant obstacles to accessing consistent and free COVID-testing. Community members face a lack of walk-up and/or trusted testing sites, limited (and fluctuating) cost-free testing supplies and a lack of culturally and linguistically appropriate testing resources on-site. Testing is a critical tool in the mitigation of COVID-19, particularly during surges.
Many people from refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) communities experience significant logistical barriers to COVID-19 vaccination. Some vaccine campaigns rely on internet-based registration and utilize locations that accommodate large numbers of people for vaccine administration. This strategy may be ineffective for many RIM communities due to linguistic limitations, unreliable internet access and overall internet navigation barriers. Community members may not have reliable internet access or be familiar with the internet.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the COVID-19 vaccination for everyone age 6 months old and older.
To help stop the spread of COVID-19, it is important to vaccinate individuals of all ages. Widespread vaccination is the key to being able to safely go back to pre-pandemic activities, such as in-person classes, after-school activities, social gatherings, and travel.
In the COVID-19 pandemic, additional mental wellness challenges are being placed on refugee, immigrant, and migrant (RIM) community members due to increased stigma, isolation, financial stressors, and existing traumas from resettlement. Ensuring equitable barrier-free access to mental health support and resources is especially critical for RIM communities to mitigate the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on this population and prevent further trauma.
Over the last two years, many refugee, immigrant and migrant (RIM) community members have faced major logistical challenges to getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Although COVID-19 vaccines are now more widely available in the United States, mainstream vaccination campaigns have mostly relied on internet-based registration and large sites for mass vaccination, which can be ineffective for RIM communities for various reasons.
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.