Racial disparities a growing problem in Colorado’s vaccine rollout

A Covid-19 vaccine waiting to be inoculated in someone's arm.
A Covid-19 vaccine waiting to be inoculated in someone's arm.(WBAY)
Published: Jan. 29, 2021 at 5:39 PM MST
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - More than 400,000 Coloradans have already received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. However, just four percent of those vaccinated in the state are Latinos.

Colorado’s COVID Task Force, along with local health departments like Mesa County Public Health, have begun working with several resources to provide minority communities with further education about the coronavirus vaccine. One of these resources is CLLARO, The Colorado Latino Leadership Advocacy and Research Organization.

CLLARO’s aims to empower the Latino community through education and civic engagement. Before the first COVID-19 vaccines were even available, CLLARO had identified mistrust of vaccines as a potential problem within the Latino community.

“We anticipated that getting the Latino community vaccinated with something that was developed very quickly, was going to be quite difficult,” explains Emily Cervantes, CLLARO’s Program Manager of Public Policy and Research. “Latinos, along with the Black community, tend to be more vaccine averse when it comes to newer vaccines.”

CLLARO is currently helping younger members of the Latino community educate older minorities about accessibility to the vaccine, as well as its effectiveness. They note that a large portion of older Latinos do not have sufficient access to the internet, or other resources which could provide them more information about where to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

Minority populations have been hit significantly hard by COVID-19, both financially and by the virus itself.

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