The Salvation Army’s community centre in Aalborg, Denmark, has been a hub for administering COVID-19 vaccine to homeless and other vulnerable people this week. The church and charity enjoys a good reputation in the city, having developed excellent working relationships with other non-governmental organisations and the local municipality authorities.
Every day, the community centre – with its convenient central location in the city – is used by a variety of different groups. The Salvation Army also offers breakfast and Danish hygge (a warm, cosy and friendly place to be) from Monday to Friday.
On 25 February, arrangements were made for more than 60 homeless and vulnerable people to receive their first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine – the first to be approved by the European Medicines Agency. The injections were administered by suitably-trained medical professionals, including a doctor and The Salvation Army’s corps (church) secretary Sonja Christensen, a retired nurse. Recipients were then welcomed into The Salvation Army’s church hall, where they were able to enjoy free tea, coffee and homemade cake. People were encouraged to remain – appropriately socially-distanced – for 15-20 minutes so that observers could safely check that there were no unexpected reactions to the inoculation.
Once all the recipients had received their inoculation, the outreach team visited two other locations, ensuring that 100 homeless and vulnerable people will now be protected against the virus.
Major Kurt Pedersen, The Salvation Army’s leader in Aalborg, who also received his first dose from the leftover vaccine, says: ‘Aalborg municipality’s employees have worked hard to secure the vaccine for homeless and vulnerable people. It’s been superb that The Salvation Army has been able to collaborate on this initiative.
‘These are our people. Along with all the other things we are doing for the vulnerable people of our city, it is a blessing every time a person expresses their thankfulness. As God sees us, so too must we see the otherwise unseen. The Salvation Army is called to love the “unloveable”.’