DALLAS — A mobile tour is stopping by local supermarkets and retail stores this month in North Texas to bridge the information gap and build trust in the COVID-19 vaccines for those in the Hispanic community.
UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization, launched the tour, Esperanza Hope for All, with multiple stops in the Dallas-Fort Worth area throughout the month of May. The tour will focus on Latinos living in rural and urban areas with the purpose of providing information about COVID-19 and the vaccine.
“To achieve the pandemic recovery we ALL want to see, we must ensure that everyone is included in it. And it begins with making sure all in our country, including Latinos, have the access they need to information about the COVID-19 vaccines, and that those vaccines are distributed effectively to all who want them,” UnidosUS said.
In the state of Texas, more than 51% of individuals eligible 16 and up, have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. The Texas Department of Health and Human Service indicates 30% of those vaccinated are Latino.
A study done by UnidosUS and the COVID Collaborative found that 1/3 of Latinos are not confident in the COVID-19 vaccine.
“Trust is a major factor in terms of just how they have been encountered over the last couple of years with government and just fear of immigration,” said Rita Carreón, Vice President of health for UnidosUs.
The organization partners with local community organizations and clinics. The Esperanza Hope for All tour will be at supermarkets, flea markets and Wamarts to provide information on COVID-19 and the vaccine.
“That’s where our communities frequent, and often time they may not get that information online or may have trouble registering online,” Carreón said.
She said it’s important for people to feel comfortable getting the vaccine and know they can get it for free, regardless of their immigration status.
“Many of our communities, because we have lost loved ones, the vaccine is another way to be able to protect ourselves and our kids down the pipeline,” Carreón said.
As the Pfizer vaccine was authorized for kids 12 and up this week, Carreón added that it will be an opportunity to go together as a family to get vaccinated.
The tour is visiting many other places like Houston, the Rio Grande Valley and Phoenix.
Here's where the tour is stopping:
- Friday, May 14: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at El Rio Grande: Latin Food Market at 10909 Webb Chapel Rd., Dallas
- Saturday, May 15: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Melrose at 3434 W. Illinois Ave., Bldg. 3, Suite 300, Dallas
- Sunday, May 16: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Traders Village Flea Market at 2602 Mayfield Rd., Grand Prairie
- Friday, May 21: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 10325 Lake June Rd., Suite 400, Dallas
- Saturday, May 22: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. at Melrose at 4200 South Freeway, Suite 1017 in Fort Worth
- Sunday, May 23: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Everybody's Flea Market at 3720 Lancaster Ave., Fort Worth
Outreach in North Texas
Counties across the Dallas-Fort Worth area have made efforts to reach out to communities heavily impacted by COVID-19.
In Dallas County, COVID has disproportionally affected the Hispanic community, which leads the county with the most confirmed cases (77,916).
Nearly 70% of deaths of patients who were hospitalized with COVID at Parkland have been Hispanic, according to a Parkland spokesperson.
Dallas County no longer has a wait list for appointments, but the county said they are working with a media marketing firm to target underserved communities to obtain the vaccine.
The city of Dallas has established a call center to respond to residents' questions regarding the vaccine. Individuals can call 469-809-8500 or send an email to DallasVaccineQuestions@gmr.net.
Denton County Public Health’s education team has worked with community partners in various areas to share information on vaccines and sign-ups.
Thus far, that has included City of Lewisville sign-up events in English, Chin, and Spanish. Local ISDs have also provided sign-up information at various events in Spanish and English. The county has also provided information and outreach at CIS in March. Lastly, partners in various community coalitions are providing sign-up events or distribution of flyers in English and Spanish within their future events.
Tarrant County Public Health said the department has held numerous outreach efforts that target at-risk communities, including those who speak a different language.