Can undocumented people get the vaccine? How much is it going to cost? How can we combat hoaxes and misinformation about the vaccine? How well do the COVID-19 vaccines work around children? Or with pregnant women? And what can we expect when it comes to vaccinations for next year?
Many are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after a long year like no other. Adults in the United States are quickly becoming eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, with the Biden administration directing states to open up vaccines for everyone 18 years and older by April 19th. But as people prepare to get shots in their arms, some still have questions and doubts. How well do they work, and how are they being distributed throughout the country? Many Latinos, who have been among those hardest hit by COVID-19, have expressed concerns about ensuring access to the vaccine and avoiding the spread of misinformation among loved ones.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that over 100 million people have received at least one dose of a vaccine, and experts project that, at this rate, most people will be at least partially vaccinated by late July. The news is especially a boon to Black, Brown, and immigrant communities, who have had the highest COVID-19 death and infection rates over the past year. Latinos represent 18% of the U.S. population, but they account for almost 30% of COVID-19 cases and 34% of deaths, according to a Salud America! analysis of CDC data.
Latino USA invited listeners to call in with their own questions about the COVID-19 vaccine and the vaccination process. In this episode, health experts Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, the chief of general internal medicine at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and Dr. Amelie Ramirez, the director of Salud America! at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, provide some answers.
This episode was produced by Alejandra Salazar.
Health experts across the country —including Dr. Anthony Fauci, President Biden’s chief medical advisor— are urging all adults to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Other perceivable contingencies, such as warmer weather or antibodies from a past COVID-19 infection, are not nearly as effective as nationwide vaccination efforts. All three vaccines approved for use in the U.S. —Pfizer/Bio-N-Tech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson— have proven vital in curbing severe COVID-19 cases that lead to hospitalization or death.
As the vaccination landscape continues to change rapidly in the coming months, check out the following resources for ongoing, updated information about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
The CDC’s official coronavirus.gov platform, which can direct you to resources including:
- a Vaccines for COVID-19 information database,
- the CDC’s COVID data tracker,
- a self-checker if you’re showing COVID-19 symptoms,
- set of guidelines for protecting yourself and others from COVID-19, (including advice on what to do after you’re fully vaccinated),
- the White House COVID briefings (transcriptions available on the White House website),
- the FDA’s COVID-19 vaccines fact sheets.
And go to VaccineFinder.org to find available vaccines at locations near you
your state or municipal health department’s website (find your state health department’s website via USA.gov)—local governments are crucial in offering up-to-date information about vaccine availability in the region, signing up for a vaccination appointment in your area, and letting you know what you need to bring on the day of your appointment.
Latino USA with Maria Hinojosa, produced by Futuro Media, is the longest-running Latino-focused program on U.S. public media.
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