Publication date: Jul 10, 2023
Effective provision of COVID-19 vaccines could mitigate the disproportionate impact of the COVID-19 pandemic experienced by many immigrant communities. To describe organizational experiences in using COVID-19 vaccination programs, qualitative interviews were conducted from September 2020 to April 2021 with representatives from public health, health system, and community organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic among immigrant communities across the United States. Interviews followed a semistructured interview guide and were audio recorded, transcribed, and coded. A latent thematic analysis was facilitated by Dedoose software. Interviews representative of 18 public health departments, 20 healthcare systems, and 18 community organizations were included in the analysis. Five identified themes referenced the importance of 1) appreciating community and individual heterogeneity in health priorities and attitudes; 2) addressing vaccine fears with trustworthy messages; 3) ensuring equitable access to vaccine opportunities; 4) making substantive investments in community partnerships and outreach; and 5) adapting to meet new needs. It is essential that vaccine efforts consider community heterogeneity, communicate in a trustworthy and culturally and linguistically appropriate manner, strive for equitable provision of care, build partnerships, and learn from prior experiences.