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Vaccine Clinic to focus on refugee, immigrant communities

Posted at 8:07 PM, Apr 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-26 23:07:43-04

El Cajon, CA (KGTV) - There's a new effort to increase COVID-19 vaccinations in San Diego County's eastern communities.

Dalia Mohammed is an outreach worker with License to Freedom.

She got vaccinated as soon as she was eligible and told as many people as possible.

"To show the community, hey, I got the vaccine. I'm doing great. Now, it's your turn to go get the vaccine and save lives," said Mohammed.

License to Freedom is a non-profit that helps domestic violence victims and members of the refugee population. The organization is working to encourage people who may be vaccine-hesitant to get the shot.

"We come from a war-torn country. We come from a place where government is to not be trusted, so it's very difficult for people to understand," said Mohammed.

Language barriers are another issue. Since the pandemic started, Mohammed has been translating information to the middle eastern communities in El Cajon.

"When Covid-19 first started, it was very difficult for them to understand what COVID-19 is," said Mohammed, adding, more than a year later, there are still a lot of questions.

"People are afraid. They're afraid that Johnson and Johnson got stopped, so they're like, why should I trust the other two vaccines," said Mohammed.

That fear is reflected in the numbers. More than 68% of people in San Diego County have been vaccinated with at least one dose. Nearly 46% are fully vaccinated, but East county represents just 12% of those vaccinated.

A new vaccine site targeting refugee and immigrant communities opens in El Cajon on May 1st.

"We are going to be there assisting and translating and getting the community to come to that event," said Mohammed.

The vaccine clinic will be held at the Lutheran church on Melody Lane from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.