Latinos have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, representing 24% of COVID-19 cases and 15% of deaths in the U.S. Latinos, who are overrepresented in the highest risk “essential” occupations, such as hospitality, retail, food services, construction, and agriculture, are 4.1 times more likely to be hospitalized, due to COVID-19, than any other group.
Misinformation and disinformation about the virus and the vaccine, including its development and clinical trial process, along with an overall lack of clear, consistent, culturally and linguistically appropriate information about COVID-19 and the vaccine, among other factors, have likely contributed to mistrust of official sources - and low levels of trust in the vaccine (34% according to a recent poll) - among the Latino community. The COVID-19 vaccine is the best chance at an “equalizer” that can lead to a recovery for the country; but immunization efforts will not be successful if Hispanics are not vaccinated. Through a multi-progned communications campaign, UnidosUS will increase awareness, education, and promotion of the COVID-19 vaccine among Latinos, including vulnerable populations, e.g. essential workers and undocumented individuals. At the local level, UnidosUS will partner with seven subawardees to deploy messaging that promotes vaccination activities and local calls to actions. Broader, national efforts will include engagement of trusted influencers from various sectors and use of UnidosUS’s vast communications assets to deploy this education and awareness campaign. The campaign will broadly disseminate culturally and linguistically relevant information on the vaccine to foster trust in its safety and efficacy, thereby improving the potential participation rate among Latinos receiving the vaccine.