In response to the urgent need for equal access to COVID-19 vaccines, Mobile Pathways took the initiative to establish the Vaccine Equity Coalition. Recognizing the profound impact of the pandemic and the stark inequalities it exposed, our coalition stood as a powerful force dedicated to leveling the playing field. As the focus shifted from lockdowns to vaccine distribution, it became evident that immigrant communities were disproportionately affected by misinformation, hindering their ability to stay safe and well-informed.
Using Mobile Pathways’ MyCamino platform, we began tracking multiple culturally appropriate text messages sent across our network. As our team analyzed the data, we realized that uniting the power and voices of our partners as a coalition could help confront the challenge of vaccinating people effectively. At that crucial moment, we became stronger together, and the Vaccine Equity Coalition was born. This paved the way for reliable COVID-19 information dissemination, empowering communities with crucial knowledge about the COVID-19 vaccine, all driven by data-driven solutions.
We set an ambitious mission: mobilize grassroots immigration nonprofits to combat vaccine misinformation among immigrants. Our goal? To inform 250,000 marginalized immigrants across the USA, including border areas and within ICE detention facilities, while vaccinating the most vulnerable among us.
We are incredibly proud of our coalition’s epic achievements over the past two years. By employing various nimble outreach and vaccination methods, we informed nearly 1,000,000 people and provided testing and COVID-19 vaccines to over 40,000 immigrants.
These collective achievements genuinely amaze me. I worried the coalitions would struggle to maintain effective leadership in the early days, especially during a pandemic that spanned multiple states, cultures, and languages. During the initial months, I barely slept, fearing we had bitten off more than we could chew.
So what was the recipe for success? In three words, trust, transparency, and data-driven solutions.
With dependable expertise and strategic networks, our partners informed each other of the most effective approaches to drive equitable vaccine distribution and disseminate reliable COVID-19 information within their communities. Through regular reflections and monthly meetings, we shared resources and learned from our failures. We empowered immigration nonprofits to digitize and amplify their impact via our MyCamino platform. At the same time, Trust-Based Philanthropy funders like Twilio.org, PagerDuty.org, The California Wellness Foundation, and The Sobrato Family Foundation ensured we could mobilize impact quickly without onerous upfront reporting.
At the heart of our coalition, trust was the bedrock for our collective efforts, but it did not exempt us from delivering tangible results. Recognizing the importance of accountability, our coalition members convened monthly to engage in meaningful discussions, analyze the data collected through our MyCamino platform, and embrace a culture of continuous learning from triumphs and setbacks. Our coalition's commitment to transparency and open learning was clear from our monthly reflection calls, accessible to the public here. For instance, the Thai Community Development Center learned that many immigrants could not afford to take time off work to get vaccinated. To address this, they organized on-site vaccination clinics at the workplace, ensuring vaccine accessibility for these individuals.
3. Data-Drive Solutions For Timely Action
Within the Vaccine Equity Coalition, a culture of data-driven decision-making and collaboration flourished. To gauge the effectiveness of our collective efforts, all coalition partners diligently submitted weekly reports to the MyCamino platform. This invaluable data was then transformed into comprehensive vaccine data dashboards accessible to each partner. Regularly scheduled monthly coalition-wide data reviews took place, enabling us to uncover novel insights. For example, in April 2022, we noticed a significant increase in vaccine tests coinciding with a surge in border crossings. We mobilized quickly thanks to Global Response Management, a Vaccine Equity Coalition partner. We administered thousands of proctored COVID-19 tests so people could safely navigate border crossings, gain access to shelters, or be reunited with loved ones.
The Path Forward
On May 5th, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, declared the COVID-19 pandemic days were over. Yet our work ensuring that immigrants and asylum seekers are safe and prepared on their journey faces a steep climb toward justice. The border crisis grows unabated; families are being separated in deplorable conditions. Our immigration courts and detention centers are overrun at record-breaking capacity levels.
Yet, amidst this bleak landscape, we must remember the unwavering strength that emerges when immigration advocates unite around the principles of human dignity, equal access to justice, and selfless altruism.
In the face of a daunting pandemic, we stood united, pooling resources and strategies to ensure the safety and well-being of all our communities. As we reflect on our coalition's journey, we do so with pride, knowing that our fight for access to trusted information remains an ongoing endeavor.
We extend our deepest gratitude to the incredible organizations that have wholeheartedly supported the Vaccine Equity Coalition. We bow down in appreciation, humbled by your remarkable services. Together, we forge ahead, unwavering in our commitment to creating a world where justice and access to trusted information prevail.
Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project, California Collaborative Immigration Justice, California Wellness Foundation, Catholic Charities Santa Clara County, Centro Del Pueblo, Clean Car Wash, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Freedom For Immigrants, Global Response Management, ImmSchools, Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, KIWA Workers For Justice, Korean Community Services, Long Beach Rights Coalition, PagerDuty.org, Santa Cruz Community Ventures, Sobrato Family Foundation, South Dakota Voices for Peace, Thai Community Development Center, Tides Collective, Twilio.org, and UpValley Family Centers.