Group works to educate and recruit eligible Hispanic community members for vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine

HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Statistics show Black and brown communities have been disproportionately affected when it comes to COVID-19.

In an effort to bridge that gap, the Hispanic Resource Center of Coastal Virginia is stepping up.

Their director of outreach and community development, Patricia Bracknell, spoke about her experience within the seven cities.

She says the problem they’ve seen is the lack of information that’s been put out in Spanish by medical and government officials, as well as a general distrust from community members.

“What we’re seeing is they’re not comfortable because they don’t know anything about it. It’s a labor force that we are a professional group we think that group that is helping make them understand what the vaccine would do for all us as a city as a community. But why would they hear it from me? Why not the doctors, or someone in charge?” said Bracknell.

To counteract the fear, she and others have gone to door-to-door to educate and recruit Hispanic community members to take the vaccine.

Bracknell says last weekend they spoke to residents in Chesapeake. About 70% of people they talked to already had the virus and underlying conditions because of it.

She says officials with the Chesapeake Regional Medical Center and Sentara Norfolk General Hospital have worked with them recently.

They’re even allowing volunteers to translate at appointments., but they still have a long way to go.

Officials with Gov. Ralph Northam’s office have also reached out, wanting to help their mission.

“I think we are moving in the right direction as we bring more of our organizations, not just government but everyone. We’ve been approached by the YMCA, we’ve been approached by the Red Cross who could be part of this footprint who could give understanding to our community,” she said.

She says so far, they’ve been able to get about a thousand people signed up for vaccinations.

If you’re interested in helping out, or are looking for vaccine information in Spanish, the group is very active on Facebook.

You can also call 757-927-4652 or visit their website by clicking here.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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