Vaccinating the Latino community in Hilltop

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COLUMBUS, OHIO (WCMH) – In efforts to get more of our Black and brown communities vaccinated, Monday, Our Lady of Guadalupe Center and Mt. Carmel focused on vaccinating people in the Hilltop area.

Mt. Carmel had more than 80 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine available at Our Lady of Guadalupe Social Services as it’s a location where they have seen a lot of Hispanic growth in the area.

“I think what we want them to know is that we ensure a safe environment…that the vaccine is safe,” said Ramona Reyes, Director of Our Lady of Guadalupe Social Services.

NBC4 asked Ramona Reyes how the effort has gone to vaccinate the Latino population in the State of Ohio. Reyes said the process has been a challenge for several reasons. One of those is the census has not been updated yet, which makes it hard to talk about what our Latino numbers are looking like.

“We’re estimating about a small 10 to 15 percent of our Latino population has been vaccinated,” she said.

She said it’s been difficult to track because many people are not writing down their race or background on the vaccination documents.

“The census has not been out yet, but in the last census in 2015, they had us at about 5 percent,” she said.

However, she believes there are about 75,000 Latinos in Franklin County, and there could be more. Once getting back the census, there will be a clearer picture of finding some of these answers.

For now, her goal is to continue educating the Latino community about getting vaccinated and helping to answer any thoughts or concerns they may have.

“If you’re available and you’re able to go to a local vaccination center, please do so–do not wait,” she said.

The date for the second shot is May 24 at the same location.

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