Hispanic vaccination rates lower than all residents of Florida, U.S.

Posted at 3:31 PM, Oct 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-08 15:31:10-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Vaccination rates of Hispanic people are lower than overall numbers in Florida as well as nationally amid a research study that shows misinformation and medical distrust are major drivers of getting the shots.

A total of 2,249,848 Hispanics 12 and older in Florida have been fully vaccinated, including 2,089,929 white, 85,224 Black and 74,695 other, according to data from the weekly state Health Department report released Friday.

With a total Hispanic population of 5,869,807, the vaccination rate is 50%. The rate for all Floridians, which is 21,975,117, is 62% but it is 68.3% just counting adults and 66.5% 12 and older.

The rate in Florida for one shot for everyone is 67.4%, with adults 79.1% and 77.4% 12 and older, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Wednesday.

The one-shot vaccination rate for all residents 12 and older in Palm Beach County is 74% but this figure doesn't include people residing in the state or part-time residents unlike the CDC data.

Among all Hispanics in the nation, 49 percent have had at least one shot compared with 69% for Asians, 53% white and 45% Black, according to Kaiser Family Foundation in an update on Tuesday.

In the United States, the total population vaccination rate is 56.1%. Among adults it is 67.5% and 12% and older 65.7%.

The one-shot rate for all Americans is 65.1% with 77.9% for adults and 76.1% 12 and older.

Oregon State University researchers interviewed 22 Hispanic mothers in Oregon and 24 of their children who were in grades 9 to 12.

“Protecting the family should be at the center of promoting vaccines in communities that have collectivist values,” Jonathan Garcia, author of the study and an associate professor in OSU’s Jonathan Garcia, an associate professor in the university's College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said in a university news release. “The other big piece of vaccine promotion is that systems of engagement are necessary to dispel mistrust, and that means addressing historical trauma.”

One major concern researched found: COVID-19 vaccination causes sterility.

Historically, the U.S. government had forced sterilization programs.

"We can't relay dry facts without addressing the history of trauma and discrimination that lead people to mistrust medical systems,"
Garcia said.

"The system is at fault for vaccine hesitancy. It's not about being stubborn, or people not knowing enough it's that the system hasn't addressed these historical traumas sufficiently and hasn't engaged sufficiently with their cultures."

But the idea of getting vaccinated to protect other family members was appealing, including a path back to full employment.

In addition, teen participants say their parents saw conspiracy theories on social media

"The usefulness of a study like this is that it allows us to understand the complexities that arise from lived experience," Garcia said.

In Palm Beach County, there is an interactive map for vaccination sites.