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Latinos are getting vaccinated for the COVID-19 vaccine at much lower rates.
Why is this? How can we build vaccine confidence?
Dr. Amelie Ramirez and her team at Salud America! at UT Health San Antonio are working hard to promote vaccine confidence and answer Latinos’ big questions about the vaccine.
Ramirez is doing this in a variety of ways:
- Creating the Salud America! Latino COVID-19 Vaccine “Change of Heart” Bilingual Storytelling Campaign to share real Latinos who moved from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine confidence.
- Producing Salud America!‘s weekly updated post on U.S. Latino vaccination rates, ways to improve confidence, and how to overcome vaccine misinformation.
- Joining the Latino USA podcast to answer Latinos’ COVID-19 vaccine questions.
- Providing a vaccine Q&A for UT Health San Antonio.
- Joining Facebook Live events led by Univision (watch here) and the Black Coalition Against COVID-19 (watch here) to answer vaccine questions.
“Vaccination is a safe, important way we can stop the pandemic once and for all. As Latinos, we are resilient. But part of our resiliency requires action, like getting the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available to you, to protect yourself and your family,” said Ramirez, chair of Population Health Sciences and director of the Institute for Health Promotion Research at UT Health San Antonio.
Why is It Important for Latinos (and everyone) to Get the Vaccine?
This is a big question on everyone’s mind.
Here is Ramirez’s answer, as she told UT Health San Antonio:
“The best way to achieve what we want is to get the vaccine right when it is available. Vaccines help our bodies become immune to a virus without becoming ill from it.”
Is the Vaccine Only Available for U.S. Permanent Residents, and Not Immigrants?
Here is Ramirez’s answer, as she told Latino USA:
“The vaccine is free across the U.S., regardless of your citizenship.”
“Federal officials insist that patient information gathered is only for identifying the number of people that have been vaccinated. That this information will not be used against them in any way. They’re not being asked any questions about their citizenship.”
What Else Can We Do to Promote COVID-19 Vaccination?
More efforts are rising to reach Latinos with COVID-19 vaccine info.
A new educational COVID-19 comic strip series in English and Spanish is helping bring important vaccine information to Latino families. Another set of webinars seek the same goal. Kaiser Permanente’s Vaccine Equity Toolkit helps organizations ensure everyone has equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
We also created the Salud America! Latino COVID-19 Vaccine “Change of Heart” Bilingual Storytelling Campaign to move Latinos from vaccine hesitancy to vaccine confidence. The campaign uplifts the stories of real Latinos who overcame misinformation, got the vaccine, reconnected with family, and are helping end the pandemic!
You can also share our Salud America! “Juntos, We Can Stop COVID-19” digital communication campaign in English or Spanish to help Latino families and workers take action to slow the spread of coronavirus, including wearing masks and getting the vaccine when available.
The #JuntosStopCovid campaign features culturally relevant fact sheets, infographics, and video role model stories to encourage Latinos to practice safe public health behaviors.