For Immediate Release
Press Contact: Dara Streit
Frontline Physicians’ Union Pushes Vaccine Outreach in Marginalized Communities
Resident physician’s union releases multilingual informational spot as part of campaign to increase vaccination rates among immigrants and communities of color
New York, NY – Today, the doctors with the Committee of Interns and Residents released a video public service announcement (https://youtu.be/oSXM9gB0ibk) as part of an outreach effort aimed at providing thoughtful information regarding the COVID-19 vaccine to immigrants and communities of color.
The PSA-style video features member doctors from across the nation providing information about the vaccine in 8 different languages, including Spanish, Mandarin and Arabic, to maximize the video’s reach.
“Given the racism embedded in medicine, we know how important it is to provide empathetic outreach to communities of color and address the distrust towards our medical community. As doctors, we cannot be champions of health while allowing these disparities to continue,” said Dr. Lorenzo Gonzalez, the Regional Vice President for Southern California. While the vaccine has not been restricted by immigration status, vaccination rates have lagged in many of these communities.
The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated racial health inequities in the United States, among other widening inequalities, and has taken a disproportionate toll on people of color. “This is among the many reasons why it is important that we have diverse healthcare practitioners. It is vital that this message comes from doctors who can understand their concerns and who look like their communities,” said Dr. Mohammad Abu Arja, the Regional Vice President for New York.
The video is a 30 second spot that will be released to other groups and organizations working to ensure equitable outreach, and can be viewed and downloaded on the union’s website.
The union leadership’s push to increase vaccination levels in marginalized groups comes as the Biden administration announced they would be pushing up the deadline to have the COVID-19 vaccine widely available to all adults nationwide to April 19.
The Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) is the largest housestaff union in the United States. A local of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), representing over 17,000 resident physicians and fellows. Our members are dedicated to improving residency training and education, advancing patient care, and expanding healthcare access for our communities.