Covid vaccine

International Medical Graduate from Vernon Bridges Cultural Gap By Helping to Sign People Up for Vaccine

Tehina Naheed, an International Medical School graduate, said she noticed that many of those in her community at her mosque don’t speak English as a first language and struggled absorbing information about the vaccine. The 26-year-old wanted to find a way to change that

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The Town of Vernon’s Mobile Vaccination Clinic partnered with Al -Noor Islamic Center to provide the COVID-19 vaccine, but the clinic has become more than just about getting shots into arms. It is also bridging gaps in the community.

Tehina Naheed, an international medical school graduate, said she noticed that many of those in her community at her mosque don’t speak English as a first language and struggled with absorbing information about the vaccine. 

Her family runs the Islamic center and she decided to help organize the clinic and invite to people to get vaccinated.

"A lot of them were scared because they didn’t really understand like they knew, 'Oh, there’s a virus, everyone’s getting sick," Naheed said, "It was easy for me to explain to them because I could speak their mutual language, which we all in South Asia speak, which is Urdu and Panjabi."

Cheshire resident Muhammad Toor was one of the 80 people to get an appointment Thursday and one of 40 to receive his first dose.

"At our age, it was vital that we get it as soon as possible," Toor said.

Toor thanked the Islamic Center, saying, "They are doing whatever they can to help the community and that's good and their daughter (speaking of Naheed) who herself is a doctor is friends with my daughter, yeah my daughter wanted to have mom and dad get a vaccination. They arranged all that and I’m here."

Naheed is thrilled to see many from her community being able to come out and get the vaccine.

"It makes me feel awesome. I feel really happy that I can get out to my community and explain to them the benefit of it and they can get vaccinated," she said.

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