WVXU: To boost vaccination rate among Latinos, local group hosts mass vax event

UC psychologist discusses vaccine hesitancy within Latino community

Heath care officials and community activists continue to try and help the nation meet President Joe Biden’s goal of having 70% of Americans at least partially vaccinated by July 4. One roadblock is vaccine hesitancy among many residents. A group of community organizations is trying to boost vaccinations and combat hesitancy among the Latino community in Greater Cincinnati.

A mass vaccination event designed to attract Latinos will be held at Kellogg Soccer Field in Cincinnati Sunday, June 13. Maria Espinola, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and assistant professor in the UC College of Medicine, is among those concerned only a third of the Latino community in Hamilton County is vaccinated against COVID-19. She says that's compared to more than 50% for whites in the county.

Espinola, who also sees patients at UC Health, spoke with WVXU about the June 13 free vaccination event. It runs from noon to 3 p.m. at Kellogg Soccer Field at 4609 Kellogg Avenue and features food, salsa dancing, and music. Vaccines, both Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson are available, and offered to those 12 and older.

"Some people have a hesitancy to take the vaccine, their fears, their concerns," says Espinola. "Some people have concerns due to religious reasons and then just general fear about misinformation they have seen online."

She says the event "Fiesta Latina" is designed to help people feel safe and secure in an inviting and friendly environment.

Groups sponsoring the event include the UC Latino Faculty Association, the Health Collaborative, Cincinnati Health Department, Su Casa Hispanic Center of Cincinnati, Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton County Public Health, Santa Maria Community Services, United Way, Buckeye Health Plan, and Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Listen to the WVXU story online.

Espinola also spoke to the radio broadcast Simply Medicine about vaccine hesitancy(segment starts at 21:40)

Featured image of a family courtesy of Unsplash.