Local church pushes to help get Latino community vaccinated

COVID-19 Vaccine
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DENVER (KDVR) — A church in Denver has hosted multiple COVID vaccination clinics over the last month to help encourage people in the Latino community to get vaccinated. 

St. Cajetan Catholic Church along with help from Linda Sosa, a long-time parishioner of the church is helping lead the way in these vaccine clinics. 

“The church becomes a source of information that is trusted and reliable and with their beliefs and faith,” said Angel Perez Lopez, St. Cajetan Catholic Church Pastor.  

So far the church has vaccinated over 7,000 Latinos in the Denver community. 

“I first wanted to get involved because I had seen how our families suffered for relatives who were lost during the pandemic,” said Sosa. “I helped them as they went through the heartache. I felt that supporting by helping our community get vaccinated was the solution to combat the contagion.”

Sosa said the pandemic has disproportionately affected the health and livelihoods of Latinos and other communities of color. 

“You don’t need to be catholic. You don’t need to believe in God. We want to help everyone get out of this pandemic as soon as possible,” Perez Lopez said.

Sosa said Latinos face several barriers preventing them from getting vaccinated: language, technology, transportation, and mistrust of the vaccine. 

According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, only 9% of Latinos have received the vaccine, although they make up over 21% of the population. Meanwhile, whites and non-Hispanic make up 68% of the population and data shows 69% are vaccinated. 

Sosa said she has traveled to Pueblo, where she trained volunteers and helped a local church become a vaccination site. 

“We prefer Pfizer and Moderna vaccine. The pope said if there is no option then you could get the others,” Perez Lopez said.

St. Cajetan Catholic Church is hosting vaccination clinics every Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. To book an appointment you can call the church at (303) 922-6306. The church’s address is: 299 S Raleigh St., Denver, CO 80219. 

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