The League of United Latin American Citizens has partnered with Hornitos Tequila on vaccine awareness and education campaigns for the Latin American community.
Supported by agencies Coyne PR, Atypikal and C/olabworks, LULAC and Hornitos designed a vaccine resource kit called Vacúnate Hoy Project, featuring vetted information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization about how the vaccines have been developed and how they work. The kit also features safety protocols and an interactive map to help people find vaccination centers near them.
Translated into both English and Spanish, the toolkit addresses the health disparities that disproportionately impact the Latino community, said Sindy Benavides, CEO at LULAC.
“We know that through massive misinformation and disinformation campaigns targeting Spanish-dominant communities that [Latinos] are getting information that is not factual and questions the validity of the vaccines, oftentimes through Facebook or WhatsApp, with no sources attached,” Benavides said. “Part of the toolkit is to explain not only COVID-19, but the process of how the vaccines were developed and the different vaccines that are out there like Moderna, Pfizer or Johnson & Johnson.”
She added that many Latino immigrants are not familiar with authoritative organizations like the CDC and the WHO in the first place.
The toolkit includes graphics that people can share on flyers, text messages or on social media platforms, including Whatsapp, which is used by Hispanic adults at higher rates than the general public.
Hornitos Tequila commissioned Latin American artists Nina Paloma and Joel Colon to create brightly colored murals in Chicago and Los Angeles with scenes illustrating vaccine advocacy and QR codes that direct viewers to the toolkit.
The information is also being shared directly with LULAC’s network of volunteers, doctors and nurses that service Latinos, influencers and community health advocates in 41 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico.
Latinos are two times likelier to contract COVID-19 in the U.S. in comparison to white people, and their rates of hospitalization are three times higher and rates of death 2.3 times higher, according to the CDC.
Meanwhile, Latinos are not getting vaccinated at the same rates as white racial groups. In the first month of vaccine availability, 11.5% of Latinos received at least one dose, in comparison to 60.4% of white people.
“There's a major gap in terms of the amount of Latinos contracting COVID-19 and those who are accessing vaccines,” Benavides said. “Right now, our focus is to make sure that we are meeting the needs of our community and that they have access to the vaccines and the right information to be able to make that choice. So that means if it takes until 2022 or longer, we [will continue] to build awareness about COVID-19.”
This story first appeared on campaignlive.com.