COVID-19 vaccine in Hispanic/Latino community
Currently, fewer Hispanic/Latino people have been vaccinated against COVID-19 compared to the general public. In a recent survey, 27% of Hispanic/Latinos said that they probably or definitely would not get vaccinated. Another 43% said that they would “wait and see.” Participants said they were concerned about how quickly the vaccine was developed.
Importance of Spanish-speaking messengers
In the U.S., two-thirds of Spanish-speaking immigrants need an interpreter for medical visits. As a result, it is important to have bilingual health care providers as “trusted messengers.” Like other minority groups, Hispanic/Latino adults trust their health care providers more than other information sources. Also, we know that low health literacy may prevent a person from receiving good health information and health care. For example, if you want to make a vaccine appointment online, you need to be able to understand and access the health information provided. It is very difficult for adults who speak and read only Spanish to make an appointment using English-only websites.
What stops some Hispanics/Latinos from getting vaccinated?
Hispanic/Latino adults are more likely to be frontline workers with low-paying jobs. Often, they do not have job benefits, such as paid time off. This can expose them to COVID-19. Also, these workers may not be able to take time off to go get their shot. Some are unable to pay for transportation to the vaccination sites. It is important to get the message out that COVID-19 vaccines are free and do not require insurance.
Other factors, such as immigration status, can also be challenging. For example, many undocumented individuals are afraid of being deported. Vaccination often requires sharing personal information. As a result, we need to make it clear that this information will be confidential.
Low levels of COVID-19 vaccination in the Latino/Hispanic population show that the system providing vaccines needs to be more inclusive.