Jan. 21, 2021
For Immediate Release
Vancouver, B.C. – S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is launching a new program to help immigrant communities overcome COVID-19 vaccine hesitation or barriers with federal funding from the Public Health Agency of Canada.
The program, Culturally-Appropriate COVID-19 Vaccine Awareness and Education Project for Diverse Immigrant Communities, is a free service designed to assist Chinese, Korean and Persian immigrants, who may have language and cultural barriers, to access health care services, regardless of their vaccination status. This program will pair clients who need COVID-19 vaccines with volunteers who speak their languages to assist with making appointments, travel to vaccine clinics, registration, translation and interpretation.
The program is open to all individuals who speak one of these languages and will run until March 2023. Priority is given to older adults (60+). People can access the program for help obtaining their first, second or booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine within the geographic area of Metro Vancouver. S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is also developing workshops and clear information on COVID-19 in Chinese, Korean and Farsi, including translated educational videos and materials, to help improve vaccine knowledge in the community.
“We are proud of our work to support newcomers and vulnerable community members during the pandemic, and that includes helping protect our clients from the virus,” said S.U.C.C.E.S.S. CEO Queenie Choo. “There is so much confusing information about COVID-19 vaccine out there, and it can be very challenging for people to get the right information in a language they understand. This program will help members of our community who are still unsure about vaccination to make informed choices.”
In the fight against COVID-19, it is critical that as many people as possible get vaccinated to help keep themselves and their communities healthy and protect our health care system. However, we know that certain Canadians have doubts and hesitations about getting vaccinated. Addressing the spread of harmful, false health information is critical to our pandemic response as the spread of misinformation continues to undermine vaccine confidence and can hinder our COVID-19 vaccination efforts. You can learn more about our program here: https://successbc.ca/covid19-education/.
The Minister of Health, the Honourable Jean-Yves Duclos, announced on Friday Jan. 21, that the federal government would make an additional $14 million investment in the Immunization Partnership Fund (IPF), for projects like ours that address misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines used to protect against it. This brings the Government of Canada’s total investment in the IPF to $78 million since 2020, of which $45.5 million is dedicated to supporting national, regional and local initiatives.
The reasons for vaccine hesitancy are complex, and investments through the IPF aim to address these factors and close the gap in vaccine hesitancy and uptake through evidence-based, culturally relevant and community-based interventions.
“The spread of misinformation can cause real harm and put our progress in the fight against COVID-19 in jeopardy,” Minister Duclos said in a release. “The Immunization Partnership Fund is helping trusted organizations across Canada to share credible COVID-19 vaccine information with their communities. By crowding out misinformation, we can support vaccination efforts across Canada and protect more people―and communities—from COVID-19.”
To date, close to 100 community-based projects have been launched with this funding, with a goal to increase COVID-19 vaccine confidence and uptake in communities across Canada.
These innovative and evidence-based projects serve to support health care providers and other community leaders in increasing vaccine uptake among underserved and marginalized populations, including Indigenous, racialized, religious minority, and newcomer communities.
“The Immunization Partnership Fund is one tool to help community organizations in their work to reach underserved populations across Canada and empower them to make informed vaccine choices,” Chief Public Health Officer of Canada Dr. Theresa Tam said in the release. “Every COVID-19 vaccine dose helps bolster our defence against COVID-19 and protect our personal health and our health care system. If you haven’t yet received your primary vaccine series or your booster dose and are eligible, please arrange to get your vaccination– both to protect yourself and those around you.”
The IPF is one tool of many that the federal government is using to help people across the country get vaccinated to protect themselves, those around them, and our health care system. The Government of Canada continues to work closely with experts, the provinces and territories, Indigenous communities, and community partners to increase vaccine confidence and better address the barriers people may face to getting vaccinated.
Chinese, Korean or Farsi-speaking members of the public are invited to register by emailing Negin Taassob at [email protected] or calling 236-880-3261.
Founded in 1973, S.U.C.C.E.S.S. is one of the largest social service agencies in Canada. Our multicultural, non-profit charitable organization offers a wide range of programs and services that promote the belonging, wellness, and independence of people at all stages of their Canadian journey. Programs and services are offered in the areas of newcomer settlement, English language training, employment and entrepreneurship, family, youth and seniors programming, health education, community development, seniors care and affordable housing. Learn more at: successbc.ca.
For more information
Director, Strategic Communications and Partnerships
Public Health Agency of Canada