Hello Neighbor & ICP Vaccine Clinic

Hello Neighbor recently partnered with UPMC and ICP to help more refugees and immigrants in Pittsburgh gain access to the COVID-19 vaccine.

June 10, 2021

Hello Neighbor joined UPMC and the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP) for our second vaccine clinic on Wednesday, June 9th! We were able to help distribute over 50 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, reaching local community members and several of our newest neighbors.

The goal of this clinic was to provide convenient vaccine access to people who might feel more comfortable receiving a vaccine at a community center, rather than in a healthcare setting. The clinic offered pre-scheduled appointments and walk-in availability, making it easier for anyone interested in receiving their vaccine.

The Islamic Center of Pittsburgh (ICP) reached out to Hello Neighbor and UPMC to organize this clinic specifically to obtain vaccines for the refugee and immigrant community, knowing that language barriers and shyness might have prevented some from obtaining a vaccine. Mohcine Eljoufri, the director of ICP, understood the importance of the center’s role in providing for its community.

“It’s our responsibility to advocate about the importance of vaccination,” Mohcine says. By reaching members of their community with the clinic, ICP can safely start opening up and make available more resources and activities for its community.

UPMC staff not only manned the tables at the clinic, but served as interpreters for non-English speaking patients. George, a member of UPMC’s international patient relations team, attended the clinic to help patients overcome the language barrier and feel more comfortable. Through his help, George wants to share a message with those he encounters: “You are welcome. You are part of this society.”

By partnering with Hello Neighbor on this clinic, the ICP was able to reach even more of our city’s newest neighbors.

“Hello Neighbor has access to certain families that we might not be able to reach. Through Hello Neighbor, we can reach those families,” Mohcine says.

The COVID-19 vaccine offers hope for a return to normalcy, and when one of our mentees, Rabiaa, was asked what her plans were post-vaccination, she mentioned her desire to visit her family in Georgia along with her husband, Mohamed, and their 1-year-old son, Mustafaa.

Seeing members of the community come out to receive their shots has encouraged ICP and UPMC staff alike, including UPMC event coordinator Abbie Mallon, who helped organize the clinic.

“Every shot in an arm is a positive thing,” Abbie says.

We are so happy we could help protect our community through this clinic, and we can’t wait for the day when we can safely be together again!

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