Juanita Ruiz, 99, wasn’t nervous about getting jabbed with a needle to protect her from COVID-19 as long as her son, Jose Garcia, was close by.
“My mother will turn 100 in June,” Garcia said. “When my wife told me there was going to be this first-come, first-served vaccine clinic, I got mom over here right away … We want to make sure that she is protected and as soon as we’re eligible we’re all going to get the vaccine to make sure that we are protected and we’re also protecting her.”
Garcia and Ruiz were at a pop-up clinic staffed by Reno Fire Department medics at the Neil Road Recreation Center in March, when immunizations were limited to people older than 65. Now that vaccines are available to anyone 18 and older, more neighborhood clinics are planned to get shots in arms as quickly as possible.
Speaking the language
Latino communities have been among the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Local volunteers use a wide range of methods to educate people about the virus, the safety of the vaccines, and to make it convenient for Latinos to get vaccinated, said Ivet Contreras of Reno, who has been doing community outreach work throughout the pandemic.
The effort to reach minority communities “has to be culturally competent and not just a translation,” Contreras said. “It has to be sent in a lot of different ways, by people with insight into the community, and who have relationships with trusted messengers in the community.”
Read the entire article here: Shots reaching Latinos’ arms
This story was published on April 18, 2021 by Frank X. Mullen for Reno News & Review.