It’s been a difficult nearly 18 months as the world has struggled with the COVID-19 pandemic—but as cases drop, restrictions lift, and vaccinations increase, it feels like the world might be finally turning a corner. Still, despite these improvements, vaccination rates have lagged in the newcomer community, as barriers keep people from accessing the COVID-19 vaccines. 

Action for Healthy Communities hosted a Pop-Up Clinic and Family Fun Day on Friday, July 9 and Saturday, July 10, to support increasing vaccine uptake. A hardworking team of AHC staff and volunteers alongside outreach workers from the Edmonton COVID-19 Rapid Response Collaborative (ECRRC) transformed the lower floor of the office into a vaccination clinic, and the parking lot into an impromptu BBQ and dance party, with Kona Ice providing delicious frozen treats on Friday afternoon. A team of Alberta Health Services nurses and administrators ensured clients received their vaccines safely, while interpreters translated all the vitally important medical information into whatever language clients felt most comfortable with. When they were finished getting their vaccines, clients and their families gathered in the parking lot for a free burger, snow cone, music, and fun! 

The event caught the attention of many community stakeholders; Edmonton MLAs Janis Irwin and David Shepherd, and MP James Cummings all came to visit us. On Saturday, Global News Edmonton (2:26-4:20) interviewed Lisa Jane de Gara and Gail Kesslar about the event, asking about how to promote vaccination in the community. 

Over the two days, we vaccinated approximately 75 people, served about 150 burgers, and had the chance to get some face-to-face interaction with our community members.

View the images from the event below!

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