Washington – Many Latinos in the United States have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 for fear of losing work hours, being charged, or in some cases, immigration issues, reveals a survey that offers ideas on how to raise rates of vaccination in the largest ethnic minority in the country.
The Kaiser Family Foundation Vaccine Monitoring Survey released Thursday found that many Hispanics actually want to get the shot. The reluctance to receive it is less than between black and white people.
One in three unvaccinated Latino adults said they want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible, twice as many as unvaccinated white (16%) or black (17%) adults.
In contrast, just 17% of unvaccinated Hispanics said they would not receive the injection, compared to 34% of whites and 26% of unvaccinated black adults.
“It is not a problem of reluctance but of logistics,” said Jane Delgado, president of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, an NGO that seeks to include the situation of Latinos in debates on public health. She says that national advertising campaigns exclude over and over to Hispanics. “We need people to help people get vaccines,” Delgado said.
Vaccines are in abundance, but as COVID-19 cases have declined, the number of people receiving the injection has decreased. The United States has not achieved the level of protection necessary for generalized immunity, and there are fears of the emergence of variants that could be resistant to vaccines.
The survey found that 60% of white adults have received at least one dose, compared with 47% of Latinos and 51% of black people.
Among unvaccinated Latino adults, 64% feared losing their jobs due to the side effects of the vaccine, compared with 41% of whites and 55% of black adults. Hispanics make up a large proportion of employees in low-income, no-profit jobs such as restaurants, cleaning, landscaping, and construction.
The poll found there was some fear that vaccination would create problems with immigration authorities even though a government as restrictive on this issue as Donald Trump’s had said that would not be a problem.
35% of unvaccinated Hispanic adults expressed fear of suffering negative consequences regarding their immigration status, either for themselves or a family member.