Addressing vaccine hesitancy within the Hispanic community

Posted at 6:12 PM, Sep 04, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-05 12:41:50-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Several events planned in Nashville are aimed at addressing vaccine hesitancy within the Hispanic community.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, minority populations have been disproportionately impacted by the virus. In response, Yuri Cunza, president and CEO of the Nashville Area Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, is adamant about getting more people in the Hispanic community vaccinated.

Cunza took part in Vanderbilt's Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine trial. He says while they were some side effects, he believes in the good outweighs the bad.

"I hope they see the case of getting the vaccine is stronger and get more people of our Hispanic community to do that," Cunza said. "It's not just the Hispanic community but all minority communities are not confident about the pros and cons or benefits of getting vaccinated versus consequences."

The Metro Public Health Department is working with community leaders to put together several events with the goal to educate the Hispanic community on the vaccine so they feel more comfortable getting it.

"We've offered vaccines at our Lady Guadalupe, we have weekly community events at Plaza Mariachi and worked with Hispanic businesses and restaurants," said Rachel Franklin, with MPHD.

Franklin says barriers such as misinformation and distrust may be the reason why some don't want to get it.

"We really want to build off the trust with partners that already exists in that group," said Franklin. "We're hoping that if a trusted face brought them the information, they will be more certain and secure of the safety of the vaccine, that their information won't be shared and this is a good thing for friends, family, and community."

Metro Health recently opened a new vaccine and testing site on Charlotte Avenue. The second center will be in a parking lot at 350 28th Ave. N. off Charlotte Avenue near Centennial Park.

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