DENVER — All year long, Tepeyac Community Health Center has helped get vaccines into the arms of their predominantly Hispanic and Latino community. Tepeyac's Chief Executive Officer Jim Garcia said their efforts have been geared towards addressing misinformation and myths about the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The reality is that the vaccination numbers within the Latino community are still very low," said Garcia. Data from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) shows only 9.53% of Hispanics have received a dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, even though they make up 20.22% of the state's population.
Last month, Garcia said they began to notice a decrease in demand for the vaccine, and two weeks ago, they made adjustments to their vaccine schedule from offering it five days a week to only two days a week.
"We want to make sure that when we do host an event that we’re utilizing all the vaccine, the last thing we want is for any vaccine to be wasted," said Garcia.
Garcia said there have been a few instances where they had leftover vaccines. At that point, he said staff members will offer the doses to people in the neighborhood.
"If there’s a construction site nearby we’ve had staff just go out and reach out to the workers and say, 'Hey, we have vaccine available,'" said Garcia. "Now we’re at a point where maybe some people need a little extra incentive."
At their upcoming vaccine clinic, Garcia said they will also be handing out $15 grocery store gift cards to Save A Lot, in addition to reminding people about the $1 million weekly drawing from the state of Colorado for people who receive a COVID-19 vaccine.
"We have ample supply, and we want all Coloradans 12 and up to get a vaccine so we can return to the lives we love. We have more than 1,400 vaccine providers across the state, so getting a vaccine is easy," said CHPHE. "Initially, the demand for vaccine was greater than the supply. The Coloradans most eager to get a vaccination have done so, and we are proud to have vaccinated more than three million individuals with at least one dose."
Until then, Garcia said they are focused on getting accurate information about the vaccine into communities through social media and radio campaigns.
"Especially within the Latino community, I think word of mouth is really important," he added.
Information for their upcoming clinics can be found below in English and in Spanish:
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