PHOENIX, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - An organization that advocates for minority communities has sent a letter to Gov. Ducey asking him to prioritize the COVID-19 vaccine to the Latino community in Arizona.
The Arizona Latino Legislative Caucus says communities of color in the state have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and have been the hardest hit by the virus.
According to the letter, data from the Arizona Department of Health Services shows Latinos, and other communities of color, are receiving a lower percentage of vaccine compared to Arizonans who identify as White.
“In particular, the data shows that the number of vaccines administered to Latinos is incongruent with the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths in this population. This reality raises concerns about the state’s distribution strategy for vaccinations; a strategy for which our state had months to prepare.”
The letter to Gov. Ducey further notes that many Latino families live in multigenerational households, a significant factor in the number of reported COVID-19 cases in the state. Additionally, the letter states that contituents of the Latino community account for a robust percentage of essential workers in the state.
The ALLC says these disparities were very similar in the early weeks of COVID-19, when people were getting tested.
The organization has recommended the governer to endorse strategies to ensure the administration of vaccines in underserved communities, including:
• Creating a culturally responsive education marketing campaigns to promote vaccination.
• Facilitating stakeholder-driven community outreach, registration and transportation assistance.
• Providing equipment and staffing support for community-based healthcare providers.
• Streamlining the online registration system including multi-lingual options and a call center.
• Working with capable third-party partners such as established non-profit providers on Micro-POD models -- such as Valle Del Sol, Chicanos Por La Causa, and Equality Health.
• Providing walk-up and drive-through access to vaccines.