One of the defining landmarks of 2021 has been the implementation of the COVID-19 vaccine. This jab, developed by the collaboration of scientists around the world, has become an achievement for all humanity to look proudly upon, and our ticket to a way out of the pandemic. Access to the vaccine is, therefore, imperative to mitigate its effects, prevent infections, and decrease the likelihood of casualties. For the pandemic to end, we all need to get vaccinated. Yet, the U.S. struggles to meet the benchmarks for herd immunity. This is especially evident in the Latino community in Alaska. It is not a secret that the state is doing its part to provide access to the vaccine. We even have mentioned in our reporting the different ways Alaska has gone above and beyond to ensure that the vaccine is available to everyone.
The latest census shows Alaska is home to 53,202 Latinos. However, only 17,800 have received the first dose of the vaccine. With only 33% partly vaccinated, outreach efforts to increase access to culturally appropriate, easy-to-understand, and trusted information are crucial. Latinos are especially vulnerable to the effects of the pandemic. This is because of higher rates of pre-existing conditions, lack of health care insurance, working front-line jobs, limited English proficiency, and housing arrangements. Furthermore, vaccine misinformation is spreading rapidly through social media, especially in Spanish. So, not only is the community more strongly affected by COVID-19, but it is also being dissuaded from the key mechanism to end the pandemic.
To make our part in the efforts in the fight against COVID-19, We are really excited to announce COVIDatos, a new campaign with the purpose of breaching the vaccination gap in the Latino community in the state. Funded by a generous grant from the Municipality of Anchorage, COVIDatos aims to make the existing vaccination information more accessible with the power of social media, radio, and television, ensuring that people take advantage of the vaccine, the resource that the state has worked hard to provide. We invite you to follow the social media pages and website of COVIDatos to find up-to-date verified information about the pandemic and resources to get tested or vaccinated.
Visit our website at covidatosalaska.com. And follow our social media pages on Facebook at: COVlDatos Alaska and Instagram at: @covidatosalaska
The opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication/program/exhibition are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Way of Anchorage or the Municipality of Anchorage, Anchorage Health Department.