MILWAUKEE — Forward Latino announced a major media campaign on Monday encouraging the Latinx community in Milwaukee and across Wisconsin to get vaccinated. The campaign, "Por Mi Familia," shares information on the importance of getting vaccinated to protect not only the patient, but the entire community.
"As physicians, as health care workers, we know that this is the solution to getting rid of the virus. It's not time to stop - it's time to move forward," said. Dr. Yolo Diaz with Casa ALBA Melanie in Green Bay.
According to Forward Latino, Hispanics make up 7.1% of Wisconsin's population, which is the state's largest minority group. However, data from the Wisconsin Department of Health Services shows Hispanics represent 11.2% of all COVID-19 cases in Wisconsin.
Officials said it's not necessarily a lack of wanting to get vaccinated that's keeping more in the Latinx community from getting the shot. Other barriers are at play including where vaccination sites are located, fear of missing work, and misinformation.
"Hispanics continue to trail nationally when it comes to getting vaccinated, compared to their two-to-one willingness compared with their non-minority counterparts to wanting to get vaccinated," said Darryl Morin with Forward Latino.
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, many unvaccinated Hispanic adults would be more likely to get the shot if it's offered where they normally go for care, and if their employer offered paid time off to get vaccinated.
"We've also had individuals that are fearful if they take time off from work to get vaccinated, they'll suffer some kind of consequence," Morin said.
But Morin said misinformation, especially surrounding identification and immigration status, is the biggest barrier.
"Concerns of misinformation, stating that you need to have a government ID or Social Security card to get vaccinated. That's false," Morin said.
Morin wanted to make clear that you do not need any form of ID or insurance to get vaccinated, and regardless of immigration status, anyone 12 years and older is eligible.
Forward Latino is also working with vaccinators to make sure they have the right information and training when it comes to eligibility and increasing vaccine equity.