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Lagging in Vaccinations, TX Latinos Offered COVID Shots at Church

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Friday, June 10, 2022   

Promoting the theme "unity in community," the Hispanic Access Foundation has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to bring COVID-19 vaccine clinics to Latino churches in three Texas communities.

Aurie Garcia, secretary of Hope of Life Church of God in Houston, said they want more people to either get vaccinated or at least get the right resources about the vaccines.

"We're seeing a lot of people that are still getting sick today, even when they use the masks, people are still getting the virus," Garcia observed. "I think it's important, and I tell them, 'It's still around.' "

The Hope of Life Church of God in Houston is offering vaccine clinics every Wednesday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The Power of God church in McAllen and the Living Covenant Church in El Paso are offering similar clinics through August.

David Armijo, chief of programs for the Hispanic Access Foundation, said many people feel more comfortable getting care at their church alongside people they know and trust.

"Many of them had not come because they had a fear that they wouldn't have material in Spanish," Armijo pointed out. "They'd have to fill out information, they wouldn't have a translator. So, being able to provide these clinics in heavy Latino areas has been a big success."

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected Latino communities in the U.S., and Garcia reminded them not even church officials are immune.

"Even our pastor had it. He got COVID, like, a month ago," Garcia recounted. "But he just had to be at home and not to be exposed because of others, but he didn't have any major symptoms."

In addition to Texas, other clinics working to reach Latino families for COVID-19 vaccinations are located in Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, New Jersey and Nevada.

Disclosure: The Hispanic Access Foundation contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Education, Environment, Health Issues, Human Rights/Racial Justice, and Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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