‘El Gran Vacunaton’ makes vaccine more accessible for Latino Community

the “El Gran Vacunaton” event is to provide vaccinations in a setting that makes reluctant members of the Latino community moe comfortable.
Updated: May. 29, 2021 at 12:02 AM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - To break down barriers and provide a more comfortable setting for our Latino community is the objective for the “El Gran Vacunaton” event.

Miriam Martinez attended Friday’s vaccine clinic held at Little Flower Catholic Church where she was hesitant about getting the shot. She struggles with asthma and faces other health conditions, which had her worried about the side effects. When she addressed her questions with her medical expert she faced some language barriers.

“It’s nice because they speak the language we speak and it is good because we understand everything they say,” Martinez said.

UNR’s Public Health Training Center and Medical Social Justice League taking challenges like those into consideration.

Samantha Palacios, UNR Community Outreach Officer said they are using the Little Flower Catholic Church, a trusted location for the Latino community, to bring bilingual health professionals to help administer and offer information about the shot.

“When you have someone that looks like you that speaks your language that understands your culture it is incredibly helpful that we go and talk to them in their native language and we comfort them,” said Palacios.

It was the first vaccination clinic of its kind that was put on by the CovidCrew and medical students where more than 300 people were vaccinated. Health officials said it is an effective way to help reach herd immunity.

“If we can do it in a place that feels safe for the community, maybe these barriers that were difficult to get over before are much easier to overcome,” Palacios explained.

Those who got vaccinated did not need to share legal status, there is no appointment necessary, and identification is not required.

Diana Sande with UNR Public Health Training Center said it is our job to help each other and stay protected.

“We are really starting to turn a corner with the Latino population because they are starting to see that they are safe, that they can get the vaccine and they are good,” Sande said.

The Latino community getting hit hard by coronavirus...because work in hospitality professions and many struggles with affording healthcare. But it’s events like this that can turn those numbers around.

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