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Kansas City-area refugee advocate says COVID-19 vaccine outreach is working

Vaccine outreach to refugees
Posted at 5:16 PM, Jun 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 18:39:06-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — It's not clear how many refugees in the Kansas City area are vaccinated against COVID-19.

However, one local group is working to get refugees vaccinated and is reporting success.

In April, KC for Refugees, a nonprofit, partnered with leaders close to the refugee community to educate them on the COVID-19 vaccine and convince them to get it.

"It was a very successful effort," Dr. Sofia Khan said.

Khan works as an advocate for KC for Refugees. She said work continued for weeks and months to break down barriers of misinformation and distrust through home visits, phone calls, texts and in-person presentations.

Khan explained in overcoming obstacles, what was learned is people just want good information about the vaccine.

“These were mostly people on the fence wanting to get vaccinated and wanted some questions answered before they could, or these were people who were ready to get vaccinated but didn’t know how to get an appointment," Khan said.

Khan is also a medical doctor and has seen the impact the virus continues to have on others.

“The first question I asked the nurses there, was 'who is the nursing director and are these people vaccinated?' And she told me no," Khan said. "They’re either not vaccinated at all or they’re people who just got the vaccine and a few days later got COVID."

Khan said she shares the stories of what she hears and sees in hospitals to convince people who are resistant to change their mind.