Latinx community makes up less than 5% of those vaccinated

Local organization working to increase vaccinations in Latinx community

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - When breaking down vaccination numbers by ethnicity the Latinx community is far behind.

Of those vaccinated in Shelby County the Latinx community makes up less than 5%.

It’s been four months since the COVID-19 vaccine began to be administered in Tennessee.

Shelby County is leading with more than 489,134 people already vaccinated.

When looking at vaccination numbers the Latinx community only makes up for 4% compared to 74% that identifies as non-Hispanic.

Mauricio Calvo executive director of Latino Memphis says his organization is working to bump up that number.

“If you call Latino Memphis for whatever reason we’re going to ask you if we can help you schedule an appointment or point you to a particular place,” said Calvo.

Calvo believes the Latinx community is interested in getting the vaccine but says the distrust and fear is much higher.

“People have asked us, ‘I don’t know if I should do it. What information are they going to ask. What happens if I’m positive? Will they deport me? What if I don’t have an official ID?” said Calvo.

Navy Chief Petty Officer Jorge Villafuerte who is at the federal mass vaccination site in the Pipkin Building wants to make it clear people are not asked about their legal status.

“Lo que necesitamos es básicamente el apellido, el primer nombre, la fecha de nacimiento y un teléfono,” said Villafuerte.

“What we need is basically your last and first name, date of birth and a phone number,” he said.

Villafuerte says the city and state use that information to update vaccination numbers and says they are simply here to help vaccinate everyone.

“I can see how the uniform may be intimidating but we are your brothers, your sisters.” said Villafuerte.

The city of Memphis says no ID is required at any of the vaccination sites which is echoed by FEMA spokesperson Carmen Rodriguez.

“Come one, come all, que todos vengan a tomarse la vacuna,” said Rodriguez.

Like Rodriguez and Calvo, Villafuerte says he’s also been vaccinated.

“Yes I’ve been vaccinated,” he said. “I’ve been in the United States Navy for 17 years and it’s very important to be ready for anything that can happen.”

“Si, yo me he vacunado. Yo he estado en el United States Navy por 17 años y es bien importante estar listo para cualquier cosa que venga,” said Villafuerte.

“I’m vaccinated. I made that decision because I know that in the nation this virus is real and the vaccines are effective. It’s a probability that if I get vaccinated I’m not infected with the virus and I made the decision for myself, my family, for my mom.”

“Ya yo me vacune. Y tome la decisión porque yo se que en la nación pues este virus es real y las vacunas son efectivas. Es una probabilidad que si yo me vacuno que no esté infectada con el virus y tome la decisión por mi, por mi familia, por mi mama,” said Rodriguez.

It’s also important to know that at every vaccination site in Shelby County they offer 12 different translation services and ASL as well.

If you happen to misplace your vaccine card from when you received your first dose, officials say to still show up for your second dose just tell them you misplaced it and they will get things sorted and give you your second dose.

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