Iowa City Catholic Worker tackles disproportionate Covid-19 vaccine distribution with mobile clinics, home visits for rural immigrant workers


UPDATE: Proteus, Inc. will be following the guidance recommended by the FDA and CDC to pause distribution of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. We will move forward with using Moderna until further notice or until we have more details on the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. This will not disrupt any of our planned vaccine clinics.


Group will host free vaccine clinics in Muscatine, West Liberty, and Columbus Junction on April 16, 18, and 25; with regular, on-going home visits in Iowa City

The Iowa City Catholic Worker announced it will hold three free COVID vaccine clinics in April for rural immigrant workers, to help increase access and distribution of the Covid vaccine in marginalized communities. 


The vaccine distributed will be the two-shot Moderna vaccine. 

The intentional faith community is also bringing back a nearly extinct medical tradition: the home doctor visit, available throughout April by appointment for immigrant workers in Iowa City. The schedule for the three rural immigrant vaccine clinics is:

Friday, April 16, 6-8pm


Saint Mary & Matías Church

215 W 8th St


Muscatine, IA 52761


Sunday, April 18, 1-3pm


Saint Joseph Church

107 W 6th St

West Liberty, IA 52776


Sunday, April 25, 11:30am-1:30pm

Saint Joseph Church

102 Gamble St.

Columbus Junction, IA 52738

Father Guillermo Treviño.
Photo by Tar Macias / Hola America

“The Church is a safe space of trust where people can feel comfortable,” said Father Guillermo Trevino, Jr., a Catholic priest from West Liberty. “We all want a return back to normal, these vaccine clinics offer the community a great opportunity to get there.”

State public health data shows less than five percent of black and brown workers in Iowa have received the COVID vaccine, despite essential workers of color enduring disproportionate infection rates, hospitalizations, and fatalities in the last year. 


Critics say minority workers of color face significant barriers to vaccine access due to a lack of transportation, technology, childcare, paid time off, translation and interpretation in their primary language. Mistrust of government agencies can also disincentivize undocumented immigrants from seeking medical treatment. 

“Unfortunately, there has not been much offered in Spanish, so we are doing it ourselves,” Father Trevino said.

The Iowa City Catholic Worker teamed up with the Davenport Diocese Hispanic Ministry and Proteus Migrant Health Clinic to offer the three free clinics in rural Iowa and home visits in Iowa City.

The clinics will be walk in, first come, first serve. For questions about the clinics or to schedule a home visit, call bilingual Catholic Worker Dr. Emily Sinnwell at 515-729-6482.

Iowa City Catholic Workers say they will consider a second round of clinics in May and are working with other groups like Johnson County Interfaith Coalition and University of Iowa Mobile Clinics to offer additional options in predominantly African-American places of worship.

Facebook Comments