How Disinformation May Deter the Latinx Community from Getting Vaccinated

Pandemic disinformation BeLatina Latinx
Photo courtesy of nbcnews.com

It’s been a challenge trusting Covid-19 information and navigating what seems to be like the longest year of our lifetimes. 

Every week we have new data and updates — sometimes an override on disinformation since the virus is IRL mutating, and we are learning every day what we can do to prevent it. 

Personally, the CDC website is now one of my daily go-to’s. Who would’ve thought? 

With all the statistics coming to light, it has been alarming reading that Latinxs and people of color are getting hit the hardest with this novel virus. 

To put the statistics in perspective, according to LA Times, “Latino residents had a daily age-adjusted death rate of 3 deaths per 100,000; among Black residents, the rate was 1.7 deaths per 100,000; among Asian American residents, it was 1.2 deaths per 100,000; and among white residents, 0.91 death per 100,000.” This was reported in December, before the holiday surge that we are currently facing and balancing.

However, disinformation seems to be the order of the day.

Few in our community have access to the correct numbers of transmission and effects of the virus and the true dimension of this public health crisis. 

This is why it’s crucial to obtain accurate vaccine data circulating both in the mainstream media and in your close family circles. 

We know that our people are getting the virus at a quicker rate, so the best thing we can do is translate correct information and open dialogue on the benefits of the vaccination, rather than feed the fear or the hesitation on the unknown side effects or long-run effects on the body.

The fight against disinformation is as essential as social distancing protocols.

The way I see it and am telling my family members is: would you instead get the known and minor side effects, or get the virus at an unknown level? Because from what we know, it is unpredictable depending on your health how you will get affected, and that to me is scarier than a vaccine that professionals are handling. We have a good enough idea of what this vaccination holds through the test trials — in science, we trust!

NBC News quoted Dr. Olveen Carrasquillo, “this is the moment for Latino leaders, including doctors, Spanish-language media, and Hispanic elected officials, to step up,” and I believe that is exactly what will shift our hesitant people to become open to the possibilities of taking the vaccine, and ultimately overcome Covid-19. 

Without these leaders and media personalities speaking the truth, who is your mom or abuela that only watches Telemundo or Univision going to get their information from? It sounds silly, but everyone is influenced differently, and it is essential to have those public figures break from disinformation and avoid any further uncertainties. 

Be a part of your family and community’s decisions. Help spread actual Spanish-language facts and ease your family’s anxiety. 

Together, we will get past this pandemic!