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Vernon Immigrant Services Launches COVID-19 Vaccine Aimed at Increasing Vaccine Confidence

Updated: Aug 30


Vernon & District Immigrant and Community Services Society (VDICSS) is pleased to launch a social media campaign on Facebook, in partnership with Interior Health Authority and Vernon & District Performing Arts Centre Society (VDPACS). The campaign includes a series of videos, in five languages, with an aim to increase vaccine confidence in newcomers to Canada. The videos includes short stories from local immigrants in Punjabi, Mandarin, Arabic, Spanish and English, that answer the question “Who or What Do You Miss?”


This project is funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada for the Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge. VDICSS was selected to receive $25,000 from hundreds of project submissions from across the country. The Vaccine Community Innovation Challenge gives communities resources to spread the word about COVID-19 vaccines and increase vaccine confidence through creative, community-driven and culturally appropriate means.


“Many of our clients have had questions about COVID-19, the vaccine, and the orders set in place by the Provincial Health Officer and Health Canada,” said Philipp Gruner, CEO at VDICSS. “We have always been here to support our newcomer clients by providing them with accurate, relevant information. For some, there has been a hesitancy towards vaccines due to language barriers, misinformation or legitimate concerns regarding safety and effectiveness of vaccines. We hope these videos will help our clients and other members of the community by answering questions they may have and reduce the hesitancies they may have been experiencing.”


“We would like to thank everyone at VDICSS who worked to bring this project to life,” said Interior Health medical health office, Dr. Silvina Mema. “We know accessing health care information can be a challenging barrier to navigate for people who prefer speaking their native language. These promotional videos will undoubtedly help increase confidence and understanding in the COVID-19 vaccine which protects ourselves, our loved ones, and the most vulnerable people in the community.”



The videos were shot at VDPACS and features local immigrants, speaking in their native dialect, telling who or what they have missed the most during the pandemic. A medical professional follows, speaking in the same language, with evidence-based messaging to build awareness and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine. Viewers are then provided with details on how to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.


“The Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society acts as a conduit that connects the performing arts to our community,” said VDPACS artistic director, Erin Kennedy. “VDPACS was happy to partner with VDICSS to assist in connecting everybody in our community to information that will help the North Okanagan re-open in a safe way.”


VDICSS encourages the public to follow their Facebook page (www.facebook.com/vernoniss) and watch and share the videos as they are released in the coming weeks.


Check out the videos in all the different languages:

Arabic: https://youtu.be/g-MVS7B_3u0

English: https://youtu.be/mWFz6KOXGWc

Mandarin: https://youtu.be/6cShoRjHyQI

Punjabi: https://youtu.be/LSNcxACizBc

Spanish: https://youtu.be/XGM9b_BbqMs


To register for the COVID-19 vaccine, visit the provincial website at www.getvaccinated.gov.bc.ca/ or call 1-833-838-2323 and get support in 140+ languages.

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