Advocates believe Jill Biden’s visit will inspire more Latino community members to get vaccinated
May 6, 2021, 7:14 AM
(Workers at a pop-up vaccination clinic in Jordan Park on May 5th. Photo: Paul Nelson)
SALT LAKE CITY – Leaders with Utah’s Latino community are hoping to capitalize on First Lady Jill Biden’s visit to their COVID-19 vaccination clinic. They believe her appearance and other recent changes will bring more people to future clinics and mean more people get vaccinated.
Officials with Comunidades Unidas said Utah’s Latino population got off to a very slow start when it comes to getting vaccinated. Spokesperson Maria Montes said their efforts to get more shots to community members are picking up steam, but they still have a lot of work left to do.
“Now, the Latino community is about 20 percent vaccinated in comparison to just under 50 percent of the white community,” she said.
Montes said the best way to convince members of the Latino community to get their vaccines is to have other trusted members of that community explain why they are important. Even though First Lady Jill Biden is not a member of the Latino community, Montes says her appearance at their clinic in Jordan Park brought a lot of exposure to their efforts.
She said, “I think it was very effective and I’m excited to see how that begins to show in the next few days.”
Recent changes may alleviate some concerns community members may have. For instance, walk-in appointments are now available, which makes vaccination much more convenient for people with hectic work schedules. Plus, Montes said a new policy change lets people get vaccinated anonymously.
“We’re not asking for identification or any personal information. We’re literally asking people to just come up to our sites,” she said.
According to Montes, many people in the Latino community believe that if they give out their personal information too frequently, it could be used against them.
“It’s the job of the government to begin to build that trust with us, not the other way around,” she said.