Immigrant communities are disproportionately affected by the Covid-19 pandemic for a number of reasons, such as limited access to affordable healthcare, higher poverty rates, and exposure to pre-existing conditions which worsen the effects of the virus. Non-profit organizations like the American Civic Association (ACA) in Binghamton have been fighting for immigrant and refugee rights since 1939. Naturally, the ACA has shifted their focus from citizenship classes and English language classes courses to more health care programs, such as Covid-19 vaccination outreach and educational workshops. The goal of this outreach is to educate the misinformed about the Covid-19 vaccine and make it available to as many members of these vulnerable communities as possible. In order to understand the extent of barriers to vaccination access in the Southern Tier, I am interning at the ACA to put immigrants on the list to get vaccinated, as the ACA has served as a pop-up vaccination spot. I also assist in educational outreach, such as contacting institutions which cater specifically to immigrant communities, and also creating slides for informational Zoom presentations. Previous research has shown that over 50% of Latino immigrants in New York experienced Covid-19 symptoms, but did not seek medical care due to fear of deportation and/or lack of insurance. Additionally, due to Covid-19’s high infection rate, many healthcare providers worldwide have shifted almost entirely to virtual consultations. This effectively combats the spread of Covid-19, but the majority of the migrant population does not have access to the technology required for these medical televisits. This has caused misinformation to run rampant, and members of these communities are more hesitant to receive the vaccine. All in all, I will compare this research to my findings done through participant observation and see what the common threads are, as well as any possible solutions.
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Ali, Rachael, "Covid-19 Outreach to Refugee and Immigrant Communities in the Southern Tier" (2021). Research Days Posters 2021. 85.