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Health experts say educating Hispanics about a COVID-19 vaccine is crucial

Updated: Nov. 24, 2020 at 5:37 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - As the number of COVID-19 cases climbs the Mid-South Hispanic community is feeling the impact.

During the first wave of COVID-19 health experts noticed how the virus spread among Hispanics, a community in which multi-generational families often live under one roof.

This time around Infectious Disease Expert Dr. Steve Threlked says that concern has not changed, but with minorities filling more essential jobs, stopping the spread is crucial.

“We need to educate folks in those communities about getting the vaccine, because unfortunately due to various layers of mistrust, based on actual happenings in the past members of those communities are fairly distrustful,” said Threlkeld.

LifeDOC and Latino Memphis both helped spread the word during the first wave.

“I think the public information has significantly improved, like it’s never going to be enough, and part of the challenge is information keeps changing,” said Mauricio Calvo, Executive Director with Latino Memphis.

Calvo and Pedro Velásquez with LifeDOC say this second wave is contributing to the financial hardships in the Latinx community.

”The biggest concern that we hear is that people cannot afford to stop working,” said Calvo.

”What are the realities of your life that you have to live with, and whether or not you can work from home,” said Velásquez.

Both Calvo and Velazquez say more needs to be done to make sure Hispanics are not left behind when a vaccine becomes available.

“We have to ensure that all communities particularly those that are vulnerable have access to these vaccines. That they have the right information, that there’s not a cost barrier, and that there no accessibility barrier,” said Calvo.

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