Voto Latino, Uber partner to up the Latino vaccination rates nationwide
Overall vaccine hesitancy is trending down, but Latinos still represent a smaller minority of those getting the jab.
As COVID-19 vaccinations continue to be distributed across the U.S., several states have begun reporting the demographic makeup of their vaccine distribution numbers.
Latinos comprise a very low percentage of those receiving a vaccine, despite being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.
Latinos are not getting vaccinated at the same rate as others. Let's educate our communities about the vaccine's safety and fight disinformation.
Take our pledge to vaccinate (https://t.co/ppA7U1jW6Z) and join us the week of June 6th for our nat'l week of action! #VaxToProtect pic.twitter.com/hNRcqTWbZU
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) June 4, 2021
According to recent data collected by the Kaiser Family Foundation, Hispanics have received smaller shares of vaccinations compared to their shares of cases, deaths and their total population in most states.
For example, in Colorado, 11% of vaccinations have gone to Hispanic people, while they account for 41% of cases, 25% of deaths, and 22% of the total population in the state.
The past week’s (May 17-24) #COVIDVaccination reported data by race/ethnicity indicate the rate for Hispanic people increased by 1.9 percentage points (30.4% to 32.3%) contributing to slight narrowing in the gap between rates for Hispanic and White people. https://t.co/0EqWKPv2nP pic.twitter.com/YgWyzw431V
— KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation) (@KFF) May 26, 2021
On Wednesday, May 26, Voto Latino, the largest Latinx voter registration organization in the U.S, teamed up with Uber Technologies and GoGoGrandparent to launch an initiative to combat this disparity and provide more access to vaccination appointments.
The initiative, which kicked off in Florida, offers the Latinx community free Uber rides to their vaccination location. The program intentionally reached out to Latinx people due to misinformation, language barriers and lack of transportation access.
“Our influence and trust within the Latinx community will help get more Latinos vaccinated so that we can return to some normalcy in our lives. We have a shared mission with Uber and GoGoGrandparent to provide vaccines to the most vulnerable communities and get us healthy,” said María Teresa Kumar, co-founding president and CEO of Voto Latino.
TV host and author, Mariana Atencio, helped the initiative by recording a message for the community and posting it on her personal Twitter account with the hashtag #VaxToProtect.
“Latinos and other communities of color, we’re getting vaccinated at slower rates across the country. And what I don’t want is for you to not get the vaccine because you don’t have access to a facility, you can’t get there, or you don’t have enough information. So, if you want to get vaccinated, call the hotline,” Atencio said.
To support this effort, Uber has committed to donating 25,000 rides to Voto Latino.
"Nobody should miss out on getting a vaccine because they can't get a ride," said Julia Paige, Uber's Director of Social Impact.
. @votolatino is fighting barriers to the vaccine is by teaming up with Uber and GoGoGrandparent to provide a bilingual hotline to book a FREE Uber rides to & from your vaccine appointments! #VacunaAlPueblo
Call the hotline at 855-497-2117 to book your FREE Uber ride. pic.twitter.com/YJz0ulKLDO
— Isabel G. Argoti (@isabel_argoti) June 7, 2021
GoGoGrandparent helps elderly people and disabled people to live independently in their homes by providing meals, groceries, medication deliveries and more. Hundreds of thousands of people now rely on these services throughout the U.S and Canada.
"Getting vaccinated is such an important step forward, and we're excited to play a role with Voto Latino and Uber in helping people safely resume the activities and relationships that make our lives full," said Justin Boogaard, co-Founder and CEO of GoGoGrandparent.
Latinos in Florida are able to get a free ride to their vaccine appointment by calling the Spanish-English bilingual hotline.
A message from @marianaatencio! Get a free Uber ride to your vaccine appointment by calling 855-497-2117, courtesy of @Uber & @GoGoGrandparent. It’s free!
Si necesita un transporte gratis a su cita para la vacuna del COVID, llame al 855-497-2117! #VaxToProtect #VacunaAlPueblo pic.twitter.com/jTn9NtQj5B
— Voto Latino (@votolatino) June 7, 2021
Following the initial launch, the vaccine equity pilot has expanded nationwide, adding on some new partnerships, including the Human Rights Campaign and the women’s activism group, Supermajority.
Supermajority, founded by Cecile Richards, Ai-jen Poo and Alicia Garza of Black Lives Matter, is a membership-based hub for women’s activism that affirms and builds the power in women of all ages, race and religions.