CA leaders push to vaccinate Latinx communities

Bay Area

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – Reaching out to the Latinx communities, state and community leaders joined the State Superintendent of Public Education Friday for a virtual discussion on how to push Latinx community members to get a COVID-19 shot.

Dr. Sandra Hernandez says based on history, the hesitation expressed by members of the Latinx community to be inoculated with a COVID-19 vaccine is warranted, adding though that it’s important trusted community members work with people to dispel myths about the shot.

“For whatever their thinking is, there’s a way to think about how to encourage them to get a vaccine,” Sandra Hernandez, California Health Care Foundation, said. 

She is the president and CEO of the California Health Care Foundation and says she gets through to her patients in San Francisco by absorbing their concerns.

“You have to take people where they are. Hear them, respect them, listen to them, and then try to provide the kind of information that will help them move towards doing the right thing. For some people, it’s, do it for your wife, for your kids, for your livelihoods,” Hernandez said. 

Dr. Hernandez one of seven panelists to join State Superintendent Tony Thurmond Friday.

He hosted the first in a series of virtual roundtable discussions with leaders encouraging vaccinations in Black and Latinx communities.

“In just a few days, on April 15th, everyone 16 and older will be eligible to receive the vaccine,” Tony Thurmond said. 

This first talk focused on the Latinx community.

The panel discussed the need to educate families about the protection the vaccine will provide in contrast to turning it down and eventually testing positive for the virus.

“When we talk about the farmworkers, you have to be an athlete almost to be out there, picking the fruits and vegetables the farmworkers pick. And, when they get COVID, it’s not only the time that they lose when they’re sick but the recovery period,” civil rights activist Dolores Huerta said. 

Less work means less income. Maintaining access to mass vaccination sites like the one set up at the Oakland Coliseum slated to remain open through early May will help bridge the equity gap between minorities and the rest of the population so the vaccine is key.

State leaders say employers should also encourage people to get the shot.

“We have passed laws to ensure that everybody can take time off if they get sick,” assembly member Lorena Gonzalez said. 

Or, need time for a vaccination.

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