In June, the Arab American News launched an educational campaign in the Arab American community about the importance of vaccinating children against COVID-19 in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The health campaign, which started at the beginning of June, intends to educate Arab American families about the need to vaccinate their children against the COVID-19 virus. The campaign started in the form of bilingual educational articles published in the print version and the online editions of the newspaper and on its social media platforms. It’s now expanding its reach through a number of outreach activities in the community in the form of social and religious events in an effort to communicate with the families in the Detroit area during this summer and before the return to school in the fall about the importance of protecting their families and the community at large against the COVID virus.
In this context, on the first day of Eid Al-Adha, which fell on Wednesday, June 28, The Arab American News distributed leaflets to worshipers and their kids as they poured into the Islamic Institute of Knowledge in Dearborn, encouraging families not to be complacent in vaccinating their children despite the current decline of the Coronavirus epidemic, especially since the danger still exists and threatens the lives of many, according to data from health centers and organizations across the country such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
In addition, The Arab American News plans to participate in similar community events in the coming weeks. Bilingual health leaflets will be distributed and experts will be present to discuss any concerns the community may have on the issue of vaccination and to encourage families towards the necessary resources to preserve the health of their children and ensure their protection from the possible infection from the coronavirus.
During its first event at the Islamic Institute of Knowledge, hundreds of parents flocked to the table set up specially for this campaign, which seeks to promote a culture of health within the Arab American communities by emphasizing that vaccination is the best course of action to prevent children from contracting and spreading serious diseases such as COVID 19.
The newspaper staff who led the campaign received a positive response from parents, most of whom agreed on the need to vaccinate children against COVID-19, despite the spread of many rumors and misinformation on social media platforms that undermine the consequences of this dangerous virus, the effects of which sometimes reach to the point of death. They also distributed hundreds of leaflets confirming the effectiveness, safety and availability of COVID-19 vaccines for children aged 6 months and older.
Despite the spread of the misinformation on social media about the unsubstantiated danger of vaccination, the staff of the newspaper reported a positive response from families, some of whom engaged in serious discussions to obtain information and resources to protect children and immunize them from COVID 19, and help in preserving the health of other people by not spreading the virus to their families, relatives and neighbors.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services provides answers to the most frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccines for children, which can be found at michigan.gov/kidsCOVIDvaccine