By Consumers For Quality Care, on March 17, 2021
Research shows that Latinos have been the most disproportionately impacted community of color since the start of the pandemic. Now, the Associated Press reports that Latinos face significant barriers to getting the vaccine.
Rigoberto Montesinos, a veteran of the Bay of Pigs invasion in Cuba, was so worried about side effects from the COVID-19 vaccine that he initially wasn’t going to get it, relenting only when two friends died from the disease.
As states try to get people signed up for the vaccine, those in the Latino community are finding it difficult to sign up because many websites don’t have Spanish instructions. In many communities, the job of educating Latinos about available resources and the vaccine has been left up to local leaders.
“The virus doesn’t differentiate, we need to vaccinate everyone,” said Arizona State University researcher Gilberto Lopez, who’s trying to debunk vaccine misconceptions in Spanish. “Otherwise, it will just keep on mutating and we’re never going to get rid of it.”
Many in the Latino community also have underlying health conditions, like diabetes and obesity, that contribute to a growing concern about access to vaccination sites.
“As efforts to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine continue, trust and acceptance of Hispanics will be crucial,” Tomás León, senior vice president of the Arizona-based Equality Health Foundation.