The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the Hispanic community in Utah.
Hospitalization rates for Hispanics are four-and-a-half times higher than the rates among whites, according to Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman Gabe Moreno and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Hispanics, Moreno explained, are more likely to have jobs where they can’t work from home. They are also more likely to have underlying health conditions such as diabetes, asthma and obesity, making patients more vulnerable to this disease.
These factors leave some wondering what the government is doing to help this population.
“We have seen a lot of collaboration between local and state agencies and partners, both in the private and public sector. We have seen, even though it took a little bit of time for Latino and Hispanic voices to become a part of the actual team … [Latinos are] creating those programs and addressing the issues that are facing their community,” Moreno said.
Moreno stated that the Salt Lake County Health Department is partnering up with multiple organizations which the Latino community view as “trusted voices” to promote vaccine awareness and education.
“People feel more comfortable when they are in comfortable spaces within their community [and with] people that speak their language,” Moreno noted.
Moreno said a major focus point for state agencies is sending the message that “the vaccine is safe, it’s effective and it’s available for all those who want it.”
As of April 11, Utah has administered over 1.7 million vaccines.
To learn more on vaccination clinics taking place for the Hispanic community, contact Alliance Community Services, a non-profit organization that works alongside the Salt Lake County Health Department, at 801-265-1111.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccines or to see when and where vaccines are available, visit coronavirus.utah.gov.