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Strategies for Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in Cincinnati’s Latino Population

Health leaders and foundations have identified Cincinnati neighborhoods with large Latino
populations as key areas in which COVID-19 vaccine uptake is disproportionately low. As hospitalization
and mortality rates remain consistently higher among Hispanic and Latino populations nationwide
and variants of COVID-19 drive surging case rates--with serious cases concentrated among the
unvaccinated--it is crucial to close that gap in vaccination rates.
 
Interact for Health, Mercy Health, bi3, and the Cincinnati Health Department recognizes that to
accomplish this goal, it is essential to first identify the unique concerns and sources of vaccine
hesitancy among Latinos in Cincinnati, as well as the barriers they may face to receiving the vaccine.
 
Cohear engaged 15 Latino Cincinnatians through two focus groups to uncover their questions, sources
of hesitation, and ideas for improving vaccine messaging and access. Ages ranged from 12-75,
most individuals were originally from Guatemala or Mexico, and individuals were centered around the
Price Hill and Carthage areas.
 
Key strategies which arose from these conversations include: clarifying that no identification is necessary to receive the vaccine; providing opportunities for people to talk to Spanish-speaking doctors and nurses about their concerns, and creating Spanish-language resources about the vaccines’ ingredients.
 
Though participants all had varying reasons for not having taken the vaccine, one theme emerged which
was common to all: they felt most at ease when they were able to communicate with experts in their native language who respected their questions and concerns and took the time to provide meaningful answers.

Connecting Spanish-speaking doctors and health professionals to opportunities to speak at churches, on
Spanish radio, and at existing community events could be an extremely impactful step for the Latino
community in Cincinnati.
 
Download the full report here!
Cohear Report on Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy in the Latino Population Spt 2021

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