A new survey conducted by the Latino Center for Health in partnership with Sea Mar Community Health Centers found that nearly two-thirds of Latinos/Hispanics are willing to be vaccinated against COVID-19 but that access to the vaccine continues to be problematic.
As of April 15, only 8% of Latinos aged 16 and older had received at least one shot, yet 70% of Latinos interviewed felt the vaccine was safe and effective. Only 7% were concerned about side effects.
The pandemic has disproportionately impacted Latinos nationally with mortality rates nearly six times than of non-Latino whites. Washington state has the second-highest COVID infection rate among Latinos in the nation, accounting for more than one-third of COVID-19 cases while Latinos represent only 13% of the stateʼs population.
The Latino Center issued a set of recommendations to improve access to the vaccine for Latino communities. These include locating vaccination sites within Latino neighborhoods; expanding vaccination site hours to offer more after-work and weekend hours to accommodate people who work different shifts; and increasing engagement with local community-based organizations that share similar cultures and language.
The Latino Center for Health, based at the School of Social Work, operates in partnership with the UW schools of medicine and public health. Supporting emerging scholars is part of its mission to build capacity to address current and emerging health issues facing diverse Latino communities in Washington state. Latinos, the largest and among the fastest growing racial-ethnic groups in Washington, confront daily social and health-related challenges that constitute significant barriers to equitable health care.