Between October 2021 and January 2022, the STRIVE team will collect data about migrants' attitudes towards the COVID-19 vaccine, and about the individuals who are working to bridge the vaccination gap between migrants and locals.

By working in the city of Rome and in the region Emilia Romagna, the project will be able to investigate different approaches to linguistic diversity in the COVID-19 vaccination campaign in urban, peri-urban, and rural areas.

The VAX/STRIVE questionnaire

Our questionnaire is aimed at all adult migrants living in the city of Rome and in the region of Emilia Romagna.

It is based on the 2017 VAX scale developed by psychologists Leslie Martin and Keith J. Petrie, which aims to measure attitudes to vaccination in the population, looking at factors like worries about unforeseen side effects, or concerns abut pharmaceutical companies’ profiteering. We have developed a modified version of the VAX scale that is aimed at understanding how linguistic and cultural barriers may interact with these concerns.

The questionnaire is now available in Italian and English.

By the end of the project, our questionnaire is going to be available also in Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, French, Hausa, Kiswahili, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, Wolof, Yoruba.

Interviews with mediators and organisations

In many countries, linguistic barriers and bureaucratic issues are keeping migrants (and especially irregular migrants) away from the COVID-19 vaccine. A great variety of volunteer organisations, interest groups, and NGOs have decided to tackle the issue, as part of their efforts to guarantee medical assistance to migrants, refugees, and to everyone in need. One example is the work of the medically oriented NGO Emergency in Castel Volturno, where they assist undocumented individuals in accessing COVID-19 vaccination while providing basic medical assistance.

In the STRIVE team, we are interested in finding out how these organisations reach migrants and refugees, and how they bridge the linguistic and cultural gaps that may prevent these individuals from getting the COVID-19 vaccination. As translation scholars, we believe that translation is not a prerogative of professional translators and interpreters: in many multicultural contexts, and especially in situations of crisis, many individuals find themselves translating for others without having received specific training. It is important to understand how this work is carried out, what strategies are in place for addressing gaps in the availability of translators, and what these organisations need in order to improve their services.

Our team is interviewing both professional mediators and other key actors such as doctors, nurses, activists, to understand the importance of translation and interpreting in getting the COVID-19 vaccine to migrants and refugees.

Raising awareness

By the end of the project in April 2022, we will upload two freely accessible research reports that will illustrate the main results of our research in an accessible way, to be used by activists and organisations all over Italy and Europe.

Our findings will also be published in academic journals and academic conferences. We believe that our work needs to be disseminated more widely, so we are taking steps to inform institutions, activists, NGOs, and any concerned citizens about what we find out during the project.

Researchers and NGOs will be able to download the anonymous data from our questionnaire, as well as GIS maps that we will create with the data to map the languages that are spoken by migrants in Rome and Emilia Romagna (and therefore, people’s linguistic needs).

In order to inform migrants about their rights in the COVID-19 vaccination and prevention campaign, we will distribute leaflets in Albanian, Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Hausa, Italian, Kiswahili, Polish, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Urdu, Wolof, Yoruba. The leaflets will contain information about resources that migrants can access to receive medical assistance and vaccinations in the context of the pandemic.

We aim to reach institutions in Italy and abroad, to raise their awareness of migrant needs in the context of the COVID-19 vaccination and prevention campaign. If you know of an institution or organization that may need to hear about this, let us know in the “Contact us” form!

Language Maps

The language data gap on the distribution of spoken languages among foreign nationals in Rome and the Emilia-Romagna region was unexpected. We joined forces with the Centro Studi e Ricerche Immigrazione DOssier Statistico (IDOS Research Centre). They provided us with some data and we will continue to work with them on gathering more granular data on the languages spoken by foreign nationals in Italy.

The first language maps of Rome are now available. Click on the picture →→