DENVER (KDVR) — In Denver, there is an aggressive campaign to get more people of color vaccinated.
At one site in a neighborhood populated mostly by minorities, all slots for shots were taken.
This was the day Obed De Santiago and his family had been waiting for at the MLK Rec Center – they’d finally get their COVID-19 vaccines.
“I’m happy it’s my turn. I was waiting. So now it’s my turn,” said De Santiago.
The City of Denver has been making an effort to get more Latino families vaccinated, but so far only 12% have gotten shots.
On the flip side, that population make up nearly half the city’s COVID cases and they are dying at a higher rate than other groups.
“We do recognize there is a gap, so we are doubling down on our efforts and strategies to make sure our community is safe,” said Denver Office of Emergency Management Public Information Officer Loa Esquilin.
The problem Solvers are told sites have been set up in five neighborhoods to help get more people of color vaccinated.
The Idea is to take the vaccines near homes in so called “equity sites” which are neighborhoods with higher concentrations of minorities.
But so far, more whites have been signing up at places like these.
City health workers discovered more people needed bilingual call takers, rides, childcare, and information debunking vaccine myths leading to hesitancy.
The city says its plan to get more minorities vaccinated is constantly evolving.
“We decided we had to do it for our own safety,” said Juan Bermudez.
At the MLK Center, there’s a silver lining to the fact that fewer minorities showed up than organizers hoped for: the capacity crowd that did show up will help stop the spread of COVID.
If you are wanting to make an appointment to get a vaccine in Denver, you are asked to call 720-865-3005.