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Latinos are getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine at much lower rates than other groups.
That’s why Greater than COVID partnered with UnidosUS to launch a new bilingual video series, THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN, to combat vaccine misinformation.
By interviewing Latino healthcare workers who answer big questions, the series aims to promote vaccine confidence and urge Latinos to get vaccinated.
“This is our chance to protect ourselves, those we love and our communities so we can start to heal,” said Dr. Ana G. Cepin, a doctor in the video series.
About the Video Series
THE CONVERSATION / LA CONVERSACIÓN uses clips from Latino doctors, nurses, and promotoras answering common questions about the vaccine in English and Spanish.
These healthcare workers answer many different questions about the vaccines, including logistics of getting one, what Latinos should know, debunking myths, and more.
On vaccine logistics:
- Do I have to pay to get vaccinated for COVID?
- When are you fully vaccinated from COVID?
- What should I expect after getting a COVID vaccine?
- What about the side effects from the COVID vaccines?
- Do you need insurance to get a COVID vaccine?
- Where can I get vaccinated?
On vaccine safety:
- How do we know the COVID vaccines are safe?
- Do the COVID vaccines work?
- How do the COVID vaccines work?
- Do the COVID vaccines protect against the new variants?
- Can people with HIV get the COVID vaccine?
- How did we get the COVID vaccine so fast?
On vaccine misinformation:
- Do the COVID vaccines change your DNA?
- Do the COVID vaccines contain a microchip?
- Won’t COVID go away on its own?
- Will the vaccine give me COVID?
On pregnancy and children:
- Can pregnant women get the COVID vaccine?
- How do I protect my kids who are not vaccinated for COVID?
- Can I get the COVID vaccine if I’m breastfeeding?
- Does the COVID vaccine affect infertility?
On reasons to get vaccinated:
- Do I need to get vaccinated if I had COVID?
- If I’m not worried about getting COVID, why should I get vaccinated?
- What if I’m more afraid of the COVID vaccine than COVID?
- Why shouldn’t I wait to get the COVID vaccine?
- Why do I need a COVID vaccine?
On what Latinos should know:
- Can I get the COVID vaccine if I am undocumented?
- Does getting vaccinated for COVID count as a public charge?
The healthcare workers also answer questions related to the vaccine and religious beliefs.
They are happy to help Latinos protect their community.
“As a community health worker, I’ve been always talking to families about the importance of following up with a doctor and staying on top of other vaccine. This one is just one more and it has so much importance at this moment. I feel that whatever I can do to help people understand that it’s safe and it’s important to do it, I would like to be a part of it,” said Marielena Chacon, a promotora interviewed in the series.
Top Remaining Concerns for Latinos about Vaccines
Communities of color tend to be more skeptical of the COVID-19 vaccines. This can be due to historical trauma and/or mistrust of government.
The top concerns for Latinos regarding COVID-19 vaccines are safety, cost, diversity in the clinical trials, and availability for undocumented people, according to a toolkit by the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.
“The COVID-19 vaccines are available for the undocumented community. Health providers should not discriminate against undocumented individuals from getting the COVID-19 vaccines. Some personal information might be request, and the personal information requested will vary by site. Although fear is a reality for the undocumented community when giving out personal information, it is important to seek information from community allies,” according to the toolkit.
Find COVID-19 vaccine locations near you with Salud.to/findvaccine!
How to Build Vaccine Confidence for Latinos
We can build vaccine confidence for Latino communities through these methods:
- Use Clear and Accessible Messaging
We can build trust by using clear and accessible messaging, such as simple language that avoids difficult terminology and can help with understanding.
- Be Credible and Transparent
It’s important that we provide credible and transparent information about the vaccine and not make any claims that aren’t verified by medical experts.
- Uplift Local Leaders in Communities of Color
One of the most important ways to build vaccine confidence is through uplifting local leaders in communities of color, like the Latino community. Having ambassadors to address vaccine questions and concerns helps calm fears that the vaccines weren’t developed with these vulnerable populations in mind.
- Build Cultural Humility
Cultural humility means being aware of how history and culture intersect to affect people’s beliefs, especially when it comes to historical trauma and wrongdoing, according to the Hogg Foundation for Mental Health. Building vaccine confidence will require knowledge of the intersection of history and culture.
- Be Respectful and Empathetic
It’s important to approach hesitant communities with respect and empathy. Dismissing people’s concerns, even if rooted in misinformation or conspiracy, may invalidate or upset people who are just looking for answers.
Read more about these ways here.
What Can You Do to Promote Vaccine Confidence?
One resource you can use is Salud America!’s Latino COVID-19 Vaccine “Change of Heart” Bilingual Storytelling Campaign. The campaign shares the stories of real Latinos who overcame misinformation, got the vaccine, reconnected with family, and are helping end the pandemic.
Another resource is Salud America!’s “Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19” campaign. This campaign aims to help Latino families take action to slow the spread of coronavirus.
The #JuntosStopCovid campaign features bilingual, culturally relevant fact sheets, infographics, and video role model stories to encourage Latinos to change their public health behaviors, including getting the vaccine when available.
Share the campaign with your friends, family, and colleagues!