Allay Fears in Hispanic Communities
Some states report higher vaccination rates among Hispanics than white and black residents, which Bibbins-Domingo says matches surveys showing great enthusiasm for vaccination among Hispanics. It also indicates that some of the reported obstacles may have been addressed more effectively in those states, she said.
Paul Berry, chairman of the Virginia Latino advisory board, attributes Virginia’s success in part to targeted outreach efforts. The state and some counties have also increased Spanish language resources to boost enrollment.
Connecting with every community can’t be an afterthought, said Diego Abente, president and CEO of St. Louis’ Casa de Salud, a healthcare provider focused on immigrant communities. Community buy-in, effective use of social media and language programming from the start has been essential, he said. Hispanics have a higher vaccination rate than whites in Missouri.
But nationally, a lack of transportation options, the inability to take off from work to get vaccinated, and concerns about documentation and privacy have held back adoption by Hispanics, experts say.
“For me, it’s more about access to health care,” Berry said. “If you don’t live near health care, you’re just going to ignore the shoulders immediately. “I cannot get the vaccine. I’m going to run out of work. ”
To reduce fear among Idaho farm workers who may be part of families with mixed immigration status, public health officials insisted that documentation would not be necessary, said Monica Schoch-Spana, principal investigator at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. She helped lead her CommuniVax project aimed at boosting adoption among Black, Hispanic and Indigenous communities.
It is also important to engage trusted institutions to administer the vaccines, Schoch-Spana said: “Is it a familiar place, does it feel safe and is it easy to access?”
Federal efforts have placed sites in underserved neighborhoods. About 60 percent of vaccines at Federal Emergency Management Agency vaccination sites and community health centers have been given to people of color, federal health officials said this week.
Incomplete data collection
Information on race or ethnicity is still missing for nearly 69 million people vaccinated – or 44% – in CDC data, despite federal officials’ wishes to improve outdated systems to better inform their response.
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