The Iowa City Catholic Worker announced Thursday it will hold three free COVID-19 vaccine clinics in April for rural immigrant workers, to help increase access and distribution of the Covid vaccine in marginalized communities, including West Liberty.
The vaccine distributed will be the one-shot Johnson & Johnson version.
The intentional faith community is also bringing back a nearly extinct medical tradition: the home doctor visit, available throughout April by appointment for immigrant workers in Iowa City.
The schedule for the three rural immigrant vaccine clinics is:
– Friday, April 16, 6-8 p.m. ¬– Saint Mary & Matías Church, 215 W. 8th St., Muscatine
– Sunday, April 18, 1-3 p.m., Saint Joseph Catholic Church, 107 W. 6th St, West Liberty
– Sunday, April 25, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Saint Joseph Church. 102 Gamble St.. Columbus Junction
“The Church is a safe space of trust where people can feel comfortable,” said Father Guillermo Trevino, Jr., a Catholic priest from West Liberty. “We all want a return back to normal, these vaccine clinics offer the community a great opportunity to get there.”
State public health data shows less than five percent of black and brown workers in Iowa have received the COVID vaccine, despite essential workers of color enduring disproportionate infection rates, hospitalizations, and fatalities in the last year.
Critics say minority workers of color face significant barriers to vaccine access due to a lack of transportation, technology, childcare, paid time off, translation and interpretation in their primary language. Mistrust of government agencies can also disincentivize undocumented immigrants from seeking medical treatment.
“Unfortunately, there has not been much offered in Spanish, so we are doing it ourselves,” Father Trevino said.
The Iowa City Catholic Worker teamed up with the Davenport Diocese Hispanic Ministry and Proteus Migrant Health Clinic to offer the three free clinics in rural Iowa and home visits in Iowa City.
The clinics will be walk in, first come, first serve. For questions about the clinics or to schedule a home visit, call bilingual Catholic Worker Dr. Emily Sinnwell at 515-729-6482.
Iowa City Catholic Workers say they will consider a second round of clinics in May and are working with other groups like Johnson County Interfaith Coalition and University of Iowa Mobile Clinics to offer additional options in predominantly African-American places of worship.
Las organizaciones Obreros Católicos de Iowa y Proteus están ofreciendo la vacuna contra el Covid-19 para trabajadores inmigrantes, personas que viven en lugares rurales, grupos étnicos y para aquellas que son mayores de 65 años. Una sola dosis al año.
Viernes 16 de Abril de 6-8 p.m., Sta. María & Matías, 215 W 8th St., Muscatine.
Domingo 18 de Abril de 1-3 p.m., Parroquia San José, 107 W 6th St., West Liberty.