DENVER — State leaders continue to partner with community-based organizations to ensure vaccine equity across Colorado. Sunday morning, St. Cajetan Catholic Church hosted its seventh vaccination clinic, with vaccines provided by Safeway.
Thanks to volunteers, physicians administering the shots, and those on the ground working on outreach efforts, 1,500 people received a COVID-19 vaccine at the church over the weekend. Linda Sosa, a long-time parishioner at St. Cajetan, helped address the barriers of getting communities of color vaccinated.
"Especially in Latinos, Latinos are very scared because they don’t have health insurance, they don’t have social security numbers, and we need to help them," Sosa said.
Sosa also works to combat distrust in the vaccine by sharing accurate information with people in her community. She said the church plays an important role in reaching that population.
"They trust the church," Sosa said, "if the priests announced it there (during mass), they feel more comfortable."
According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 8% of the vaccines administered have gone to Hispanics, who make up over 21% of the population. Meanwhile, Whites and non-Hispanics make up 67% of the population, but data shows 73% of vaccines have gone to that group of people. 12% of vaccines wen towards unknown races since people are not required to provide their race/ethnicity when signing up for a vaccine.
Sosa encourages everyone to get the vaccine, despite their race or ethnicity, but understands the Hispanic population is one of the communities that need to be targeted closer.
When she first began outreach efforts, Sosa said it was difficult to get people to sign up.
"It was three or four families may be, and the next mass there was more. Later on, thousands of people," said Sosa, "now I want to let you know we have thousands and thousands people and long list."
Sunday's clinic was the seventh equity clinic Sosa helped organize. Safeway provided a total of 1,500 vaccines. Second-dose appointments have already been scheduled for April 10-11.
Sosa said they hope to continue working with the state to hold more vaccination clinics in the future.
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