‘This virus doesn’t discriminate’: Henrico holds vaccine clinic for refugees, immigrants, minorities

‘This virus doesn’t discriminate’: Henrico holds vaccine clinic for refugees, immigrants, minorities

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) - Dozens of people came to the Richmond Raceway on Sunday afternoon for a walk-up mass vaccination clinic focused on helping residents who are refugees, immigrants and minorities.

The clinic offered the Moderna vaccine along with on-site registration and translators for those that spoke another language.

“This event is specifically for those of immigrant and refugee communities with a special focus on those of Asian and Hispanic descent,” said Monica Smith-Callahan, deputy county manager for community affairs with Henrico County.

Smith-Callahan says the clinic removes barriers, such as identification requirements, for those looking to get their vaccine. She believes this will open more doors for those to get vaccinated.

“Undocumented doesn’t mean that they cannot receive this vaccine,” said Smith-Callahan. “We all know that we will never reach herd immunity unless the entire community, 70% of our community, receives this vaccine. And that includes our undocumented communities that are within our Richmond-Henrico Health District.”

Eric Lin, community engagement director for the Asian and Latino Solidarity Alliance, says their organization worked with other faith-based organizations to get the word out about the clinic.

“I even went out and distributed flyers to some businesses,” Lin said. “Nail salons, restaurants, massage parlors. Anyone we felt needed to have this connection and access.”

Through this clinic, Smith-Callahan hopes to show communities of color that they are important.

“We know that this virus doesn’t discriminate,” she said. “There is no such thing as you’re exempt because of your race and religion. We know that everyone deserves to receive this vaccine who wants it.”

For those that received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine at this clinic, they were scheduled on-site to receive their second dose in the next 28 days.

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