– This is a message I distribute with happiness. I have enough free time, and I am well-known in Tønsberg. This is important, says Farid Mohammad.

He is an imam and superintendent of the Islamic center of Vestfold. In the upcoming days he is going to travel the city and put up posters from Tønsberg municipality about the Covid vaccine in places where immigrants usually reside.

Be it immigrant shops, Farmandstredet, bus stops, rest area for bus drivers or mosques.

In addition to that he is going to be a conversation partner for people who have questions about where and how the vaccination takes place.

The reason is that he got contacted by Mona Bondevik from environmental health care (Miljørettet helsevern) in Tønsberg municipality, who initially wanted to get an overview of which languages the posters should be translated into.

That is when Farid offered to help with communication and dissemination.

–Some think that it is too expensive

It all started when the municipality got a heads up that some immigrants believed that the vaccine was too expensive, and therefore would not take it.

Farid Mohammad confirms that he has heard this misinformation as well.

– Some, who either do not know Norwegian that well, or are new to the country, have not gotten enough information and think that the vaccine is too expensive. That is why we want to inform people that the vaccine is in fact free of charge, Mohammad says to Tønsbergs Blad.

– Most immigrants I have spoken to are interested in getting the vaccine as quickly as possible, but believed that it costs money, he further says.

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Important to reach the poles

The posters from the municipality is written in five different languages – Norwegian, Arabic, Lithuanian, Swahili and Polish.

– Polish speaking people are among those who are important to reach, says Mona Bondevik.

– There are a lot of working immigrants from Poland, and many are in denominations. We know that there are many who are not vaccinated among these groups.

The project started Wedensday. The goal is to reach larger parts of the population with information about the possibility for drop-in vaccination at Farmandstredet and Messehall Balot.

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– Do you think it will have any effect?

– We have talked a lot about what we think the results will be, and hope it will have an effect. I also see that the municipal chief physician (kommuneoverlegen) recently has communicated that there are several unvaccinated people who have recieved their first dose in the last week, says Bondevik.

The upcoming days are going to be hectic for Farid Mohammad. He has many places to visit, in addition to being available at Tønsberg's three mosques.

– I hope this will make more people want to get vaccinated, Mohammad says.