Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services provides COVID-19 vaccine information session and plans two vaccine clinics


On April 21, the stage was set, the internet connection checked, and the mic was hot as Catholic Charities Refugee Resettlement Services prepared for their COVID-19 vaccine information session: COVID-19: Get Your Questions Answered.

Catholic Charities of Central and Northern Missouri’s (CCCNMO) staff collaborated with Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services and the University of Missouri Health Care to host a discussion on Zoom with Dr. Christelle Ilboudo, an infectious disease specialist from the University of Missouri. The goal of the information was to provide a space for the refugee community to ask questions regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and get the answers in their native languages.

Translation was provided for Kinyarwanda on Zoom, and there was also translation in Swahili and Tigrinya at the Catholic Charities office during the in-person presentation.

“Holding an event like this allows us to treat each individual person with dignity and gives them the right to make an educated choice,” said Lori Stoll, Health Promotion Coordinator for CCCNMO, to KOMU.

The agency called more than 100 refugees to survey their interest and level of information they had received.

“From that survey, we gained that there was some hesitancy, but moreover, there was a lack of any information being targeted to their populations,” Stoll told the Columbia Missourian.

So Stoll and the rest of the agency set out to provide the necessary information and found success.

“We had 12 people attend via zoom. We know of at least 2 families that got together to attend. We had 6 people attend the in-person session for translation in Tigrinya and Swahili. We also had several people request the recording because they had to work,” she said.

Now that the information has been provided, they are attempting to remove additional barriers by offering two upcoming vaccination clinics. The first they are co-hosting in Sedalia on May 15 and is especially focused on helping the Hispanic community get vaccinated. The second will be in Columbia on May 18 where they’ll have translators as well as translated materials available.

You can find more information on the fliers below as well as linked here and here.


Written by