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According to a survey released Thursday, Hispanics who have not yet received a COVID shot are about twice as likely as non-Hispanic whites or blacks to say they would like to be vaccinated as soon as possible. The findings suggest solvable, albeit difficult, problems with access to vaccines for the population.
One-third of unvaccinated Hispanics say they want the shots, compared to 17 percent of blacks and 16 percent of whites, according to a poll released Thursday by KFF. (KHN is an editorially independent KFF program.)
The results reflect an opportunity for public health departments and local governments to reach Hispanics with information and vaccination teams, said Liz Hamel, vice president and director of public opinion and KFF survey research and director of surveys. monthly COVID vaccine of the organization.
“There’s definitely a large part of the Hispanic population that is willing to get it, but they just haven’t been able to adjust it to their schedule or they have doubts or questions or they haven’t been able to access it,” he said. Hamel.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only 13% of people in the United States who have received at least one dose of vaccine are Hispanic, although they represent approximately 17% of the global population. (Only about half of the CDC data includes the race or ethnicity of vaccinated people.)
Among unvaccinated Hispanics, 64% were worried about the lack of work due to the side effects of the vaccine and 52% were worried about having to pay for the shots, even though they are offered at no cost. These figures are even higher for Hispanics who did not have the legal status of permanent resident.
“It’s hard for someone who lives the day to day to take off for half a day to come to a clinic and try to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Jose Perez, chief physician at the South Central Family Health Center, a nonprofit organization. healthcare organization with clinic locations throughout South Los Angeles. “If they don’t work that day, they don’t make a living and they don’t eat.”
According to the KFF survey, those facing immigration issues were more likely to worry about being asked to show a government-issued ID or a Social Security number.
The Trump administration’s anti-immigrant policies scared people away from seeking public health services, for fear it could jeopardize their immigration status, Perez said.
“For Americans who are used to having order in their lives and who don’t have to be afraid of this or that, this may seem a little strange,” he said. “But for the South Los Angeles immigrant community, these are factors they deal with on a daily basis.”
Despite the poll’s hopeful message, Pérez’s organization has only administered a fraction of the doses at hand, although it has expanded vaccination sites and now offers a shot at anyone who enters any of the their clinics, Perez said.
“All we can do is keep pushing, educating and continuing to publish our name,” he said. “Hopefully, we’ll catch up.”
The Biden administration Tax credits recently announced by small businesses that give their workers free time to get fired and recover in the event of side effects. Providers are not allowed to charge people for the VOCID vaccine and must be fired regardless of immigration status or health insurance coverage.
In California, where Hispanics make up nearly 40% of the population, 48% of COVID deaths and 63% of COVID infections, approximately 32% have received vaccines. Cases and deaths are especially concentrated in dense, low-income neighborhoods that are mostly Latino.
Clinics and community health organizations across the state are claiming vaccines on sidewalks, supermarkets, and anywhere else where people gather, looking for people to know how to sign up for a shot.
In the zip code around the main site of the South Central Family Health Center, only 16% of eligible residents had at least one shot on May 7, according to the Vaccine follower of the California Department of Public Health. Five months into the country’s vaccination campaign, as the CDC relaxes mask recommendations, the clinic continues to push the importance of masks because of the few people vaccinated, Perez said.
“Vaccination hesitation” has become an excuse to explain low vaccination rates among minority populations, but the problem is complex, said Nancy Mejia, head of Latino Health Access’s program in Santa Ana. California, a nonprofit organization that hires Orange County to bring the COVID vaccine to Latinos.
Community health workers in your group or promoters, meets people facing a wide variety of obstacles to get the shot, he said.
“We hear all these questions about,‘ Well, I don’t have health insurance ’or‘ Do I have to pay? “or” I don’t have email, how can I register? “Mejia said.” When people talk about hesitation, we have to ask ourselves what we’re talking about and not keep blaming people who really have good questions. “
Now that demand for vaccine appointments has dropped, Mejía and his group are focusing more on mobile vaccine events in condominium buildings, exchange meetings, and parking lots where pedestrians and residents can only climb. Events take place at night after work or on weekends to make the decision to get vaccinated as easily as possible.
“We’re seeing other places that have been open all day and have only accommodated five people,” he said. “So for us to be open a few hours in the evening and get over 100 people, that’s a success story.”
Carmelo Morales, a 35-year-old Los Angeles resident, used to be among the skeptics of the vaccine. After talking to friends and seeing posts on Instagram, he feared the shots could be a plot to make people sick. He saw no urgency in getting a shot.
But Morales, who works at a meat packaging plant, has been deeply affected by the cases and deaths he has seen among colleagues and their families over the past year. One day in late April, when he was leaving home from work, he noticed that health workers at a church near his house were packing their bags after an event against the COVID vaccine.
He asked if there were too many doses and, as his house was nearby, the nurses waited for him to run home to get his ID and get his first shot.
“I just thought about it and he told me how, hey, it would be better to be on the safer side maybe.”