Fabrice Juin, project manager for the Local Office of Minority Health at Public Health - Dayton and Montgomery County, said they helped co-host an educational event entirely in Spanish with local doctors and leaders and working with El Puente Educational Center. The panel let people get information and ask questions.
“We wanted to be very intentional in the way we did that, by not just providing the vaccination opportunities, but also providing educational opportunities as well so that they can be informed vaccination, on what’s available and what opportunities we have locally, so they can make the best informed decision for themselves and those around them,” Juin said.
The toll of the pandemic has not been even. COVID-19 was the third leading cause of death in 2020, and the COVID-19 death rate was highest among Hispanic people, per preliminary CDC data.
Robert Salinas, president of the Dayton Hispanic Chamber, said he lost a brother-in-law, an uncle, two first cousins, and also former classmates to COVID-19. His mother with dementia also suffered under the isolation of the pandemic.
“We’ve been undercounted. We need to get vaccinated. That’s what motivates me about this,” Salinas said.
Some people might be hesitant to seek a vaccine because of being undocumented or immigration status, but Salinas said the names of people getting vaccinated will not be shared and will be private, and he said telling people that has helped more people sign up.
Salinas said misinformation has also been a problem, noting the pushback he heard when offering to sign people up for vaccines who were grocery shopping at La Michoacana.
“I was surprised by the pushback that we were getting from the Hispanic community. And it’s all from misinformation,” he said.