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'We need to vaccinate everyone': Latino leaders push to get undocumented people vaccinated for COVID-19

Undocumented immigrants have one of the highest infection rates for COVID-19, so doctors and community leaders say everyone will have access to the vaccine.

Latinos have been on the front lines working in places like grocery stores, meat packing plants and construction sites, and they have the highest rate of COVID-19 infection.

"We have seen a lot of it, and it's unfortunate,” said Dr. John Myers.

But the question is, will undocumented workers have the same access to the vaccine as everyone else? Dallas County Commissioner Elba Garcia said yes. 

"We need to make sure everyone is vaccinated,” said Garcia.

But the vaccine is hard to get. 

Hilda Duarte is a community activist, cancer survivor and diabetic. She got an email from a local hospital saying she couldn't get the vaccine yet.

"I've requested it. They know I had cancer and diabetic and being denied. They are not even scheduling, so what do I do?" said Duarte.  

Myers is the chief medical officer for City Hospital at White Rock that serves a large Hispanic population. He said they've distributed more than 500 doses and hope for more as he encourages people to sign up. 

"We have over 375 people on a waiting list right now, and we have petitioned the state and hoping to get it in,” said Myers.

Some undocumented people may be worried about identifying themselves. At City Hospital they are not requiring identification. Dallas County is, but only to prove residency even if all you provide is a water bill.  

"Residency only that you live in Dallas County, that does not mean an official I.D., just that you live in Dallas County,” said Garcia.            

The county also is opening the first mass vaccination site at Fair Park to make it easier for people of color to get the vaccine.



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