Center joins in vaccination effort

Small Towns

With more than 36 languages spoken in Schuyler, Nebraska, population 6,211, community organizations, businesses, and volunteers have pitched in to assist at the weekly COVID-19 vaccination clinic.

Staff from the Center for Rural Affairs and other area nonprofit organizations were on hand week after week this spring to help people fill out the registration paperwork and to make sure they understand what is needed.

“People in the community know us and trust us,” said Nina Lanuza, Center for Rural Affairs staff member, who speaks Spanish and English. “We want to make sure everyone has access to the information no matter what language they speak.”

Additional interpreters, who speak various languages, are a phone call away.

Schuyler is home to meatpacking plant workers, and Nina said certain companies are encouraging all employees to get vaccinated. They are also sending support staff to help with translations.

“Meatpacking plants across the country became COVID-19 hotspots early in the pandemic and continue to pose a risk,” she said. “We want to ensure these employees and their families have the opportunity to get vaccinated.”

Nina said nonprofit organizations are uniquely positioned to help these kinds of emergency operations succeed.