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The Delta variant is still surging, and more than 30 percent of the state’s population ages 12 and older is still unvaccinated.
Health experts are urging those who haven’t gotten shots yet to do so. So are community leaders.
For the third installment in Sahan Journal’s COVID-19 vaccine video series, we spoke to three vaccinated people from the local Hmong, Somali, and Latino communities to share their thoughts on why getting vaccinated is important to them, and what their communities need to know about it.
Hue Lor, a merchant at Hmong Village Shopping Center; Saida Mohamed, a pharmacist who owns Lake Cedar Pharmacy in Minneapolis; and Yamileth Flores, a lead organizer with the pro-immigrant advocacy group Unidos MN each gave a brief presentation about the vaccine in Hmong, Somali, and Spanish.
For Lor, one of his concerns was how his asthma makes him more susceptible to severe illness should he get infected with COVID-19. Flores also got vaccinated for personal reasons. Her parents were hospitalized because of COVID-19 earlier during the pandemic. Both have since recovered.
“I know how bad it can get,” Flores said.
Saida gave a broad but simple reason for why she got the shot: “I did it for myself, my family, and my community.”
All three named one activity they feel comfortable engaging in again since getting vaccinated. Lor now feels more comfortable visiting his family in person. Flores finally got to meet her baby cousin, who was born one month into the pandemic. Saida resumed going to mosque to pray after getting vaccinated, and now feels comfortable going to social events like weddings.
Finally, each gave one important reason to unvaccinated members of their communities to think seriously about getting the shot. Losing a family member is a tragedy for anyone, Lor said, and the financial burden of paying for a traditional Hmong funeral can make such a tragedy more difficult. No one wants to spend a birthday or holiday without a loved one, and the threat of COVID-19 is that serious, Flores said.
Getting vaccinated is an important way to protect yourself and your family, Saida said, but it can also keep the most vulnerable members in the community safe.
“I don’t want an elderly person getting infected, ending up in the hospital, and dying by themselves,” she said.
We hope readers find Lor, Saida, and Flores’s messages helpful. Click here for a link to the first installment and click here for a link to the second installment of Sahan Journal’s COVID-19 vaccine video series.
Sahan Journal’s COVID-19 Vaccine video series is sponsored by UCare.