Latino Doctors Worried Over Hispanic Communities' Skepticism on COVID-19 Vaccine
The largest vaccination effort in the history of the United States is currently taking place with top officials having themselves publicly vaccinated to ease the public's worry.
However, Latino doctor Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo said his Latino patients are asking whether the vaccine contains the virus and its side effects.
Carrasquillo said that people are not sure what is in the vaccines, adding they are worried, as reported by NBC News.
Carrasquillo is the chief of general internal medicine at the University of Miami. He is also one of the principal investigators for the Janssen vaccine trial.
How the pandemic affected Latinos
The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Latinos in the United States, which makes the vaccination a crucial public health mission.
However, Carrasquillo are hearing worries over the vaccine, which can be contributed to the lack of reliable information, especially in Spanish.
This partnered with a number of disinformation that has been circulating.
Carrasquillo has been hearing conspiracy theories about the vaccine aside from the questions that he has been receiving from his patients.
One of those conspiracy theories is videos in English with alleged doctors falsely claiming that the vaccines will alter people's DNA.
Evelyn Pérez-Verdía says anti-vaccine propaganda has ramped up its efforts in recent weeks among Latinos.
Pérez-Verdía is a Democratic strategist looking at any disinformation in Spanish starting the election.
The strategist noted that she has also been seeing memes or jokes about the side effects.
She added that its repetition worries her as people see it constantly.
Carrasquillo said this is the time for Latino leaders and those Latinos in prominent positions to lead the way.
"We're the ones who are going to have to take that charge up and reassure our community," Carrasquillo added.
Communities of Color
Other leaders are working to vaccinate communities of color.
A Black physician and bioethicist said she had to assure her patients about the vaccine.
All health care workers are being reassured that the vaccine is safe and should be taken, as reported by Chicago Tribune.
In addition, leaders of a South Side hospital earlier raised alarm after nearly a quarter of staff members said they do not plan to get the vaccine.
Many polls showed that Black and Hispanic Americans are more likely to decline a COVID-19 vaccine than other races.
Only 24 percent of Black participants plan to get vaccinated against the COVID-19 pandemic, while 34 percent of Hispanics corresponded to being willing to be vaccinated, according to an Associated Press poll.
This was compared with 53 percent of white respondents asked the same question.
Meanwhile, 41 percent of Hispanic Americans and 37 percent of Black Americans said that they are not sure about getting the shot.
Distrust in government and medicine could be contributed to these decisions.
Fewer Black and Hispanic adults reported trusting their physicians, local hospitals, and the health care system as compared with white adults based on a survey done by Kaiser Family Foundation and The Undefeated.
Related story: Homemade COVID-19 Vaccine: Does it Work and is it Safe?
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