COVID-19 Health Initiative Results in Over 4,500 Vaccines for Migrant and Latino Farmworker Communities 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2022
CONTACT: 
Elyssa Pachico  | +1 503 347 23 29 | press@alianzaamericas.org 
Mynellies Negrón | +1 703 585 6727 | mynellies@communicationsshop.us 

 

A months-long COVID-19 health initiative, spearheaded by Alianza Americas, resulted in the disbursement of over 4,500 vaccines and boosters to migrant and Latino communities across Florida. The Cosecha project, part of the #SomosSalud working area, was a collaboration with the Rural Women’s Health Project of Gainesville; Women Working Together, based in Miami-Dade; WeCount! in Homestead; and RCMA, headquartered in Immokalee, but with offices around the state of Florida. The project aims to address health inequities faced by Latin American migrants and Latino farmworkers, given that Latinos are 1.9 times more likely to die from COVID-19 than White populations.

 

“COVID-19 has taken a massive toll on migrant and Latino populations across the United States, from illness and death, to losing jobs and wages,” said Helena Olea, associate director for programs at Alianza Americas. “Through initiatives like the Somos Salud COVID-19 campaign, we can address these health inequities and push back against the frightening reality that COVID has dramatically reduced life expectancy for persons of Latin American origin in some states.” 

 

By working with health promoters in grassroots organizations across the United States, the Somos Salud initiative disseminates health education materials and encourages vaccination in Latin American migrant and Latino communities. Campaign activities have wrapped up in Florida, but the initiative will continue in other states including California, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, and North Carolina. 

 

In Florida, the collaborative nature of the Somos Salud Cosecha project allowed us to reach over 90 different cities, towns, and municipalities, with health promoters distributing COVID-19 information in homes, community centers, parks, and schools. Additional top areas of outreach included Live Oak, Williston, Alachua and Chiefland, among others. The teams worked tirelessly in collaboration with local health departments, pharmacies, and healthcare facilities, to organize events to facilitate vaccine access. Of the provided vaccines, 55 percent were administered to women and 46 percent to people between the ages of 30 and 49. Over 2,900 of these vaccines were primary series vaccines and over 1,800 were booster shots.

 

“The impact of Cosecha on the communities served across the state further highlights the need for continual support of Promotor de Salud programming, development of culturally relevant health literacy materials, and the value of language preservation,” said Anna Villagomez of Rural Women’s Health Project. 

 

Those who received vaccines and boosters thanks to the Florida Somos Salud campaign said that they had delayed getting the shot primarily because of worries about potential side effects, disinformation that caused fear, and lack of access due to work or caretaking responsibilities. People also reported that the shortage in transportation to a vaccine site made them delay their vaccination. Participants also said that engaging with Somos Salud health promoters, and receiving health education fliers, encouraged them to get vaccinated.  

 

“Our findings highlight the critical importance of having health promoters, who truly understand and are connected to local communities, working on-the-ground to encourage vaccination and fight disinformation,” said Bruce Tyler, Somos Salud project director at Alianza Americas. “In order to address the vaccination gap that persists for people of Latin America origin in some states, community-driven initiatives like Somos Salud have a proven success rate in encouraging people to get vaccinated and boosted.”

 

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Alianza Americas is the premier transnational advocacy network of Latin American migrant-led organizations working in the United States, across the Americas, and globally to create an inclusive, equitable and sustainable way of life for communities across North, Central and South America. Alianza’s digital organizing powerhouse is Presente.org.

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