As Connecticut prepares to transition into Phase 1B of the vaccine rollout, there’s growing concern about reaching diverse communities who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 illness and death. To address the problem, Dr. Jorge Moreno, an internist and assistant professor at the Yale School of Medicine, posted a video about his experience with the vaccine.
He wanted to share his experience with Spanish speakers, some of whom distrust the vaccine and are hesitant about getting the shot.
“There was very little information available in Spanish,” he said. “There was little information available from Hispanic providers that could speak the language and that could relate and give their experience about the vaccine.”
Not much #covidvacccine info in Spanish. As a #Hispanic MD, I want to help my community get the facts & be informed. Please share video. #MedTwitter @LatinasInMed
Mi experiencia con la #VacunaCOVID19. Información importante para la comunidad hispana. #pontela #COVID19 @YNHH pic.twitter.com/S6E0Militi
— Jorge “Get COVID-19 shot” Moreno, MD (@MDJorgeMoreno) January 2, 2021
He talked about the side effects he felt, like soreness in his arm. And he shared other reported side effects, including temporary headaches, fevers and joint aches.
Moreno said he’d been concerned about the participation of Hispanics in vaccine trials. So before he rolled up his sleeve, he wanted to be sure there weren’t discrepancies between trial results for Hispanic people compared to other racial groups.
He said there weren’t.
“The data shows that the vaccine had a 94 percent efficacy rate for Hispanics and for the general population,” he said.
Most important, Moreno says, is that he wants to play his part in decreasing misinformation. The day after he posted his Spanish video on Twitter, he saw a patient who worked in health care and was still hesitant about getting the vaccine.
“[My patient] had been sent an invitation for the vaccine, but she waited to speak to me directly to ask me my opinion because she didn’t know who to trust,” he said.
His patient then scheduled an appointment to receive the vaccine and passed on the information to another member of her family.
Brenda León is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.