Some Iowa Latinos Gaining Confidence In COVID-19 Vaccine

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Clinics with Spanish interpreters have opened throughout the state to help more Latinos get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
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Kassidy Arena, Iowa Public Radio

A few months ago, Mayo Neville said she just didn’t have enough information about COVID-19 vaccines to make a confident decision about getting inoculated. 

And this week, she got her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at a Hy-Vee in West Des Moines. 

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She said her decision was based on caring for others as she planned for a trip to see family in Arizona. With the prominence of the delta variant, she didn’t want to pass on any germs or viruses to her relatives. 

Neville said it was unusual for her to choose a vaccine because her mom, who came from Mexico, had always taught her home remedies were the best cure. 

“If hesitancy was in like, DNA, it comes from her. She was the one instilling like, the preference of having, you know, just teas to help me cure things or like VapoRub or all sorts of crazy things that we do,” Neville explained. “But she has seen now, a little over time, that [COVID] is starting to get a little hot and heavy. And I just keep telling her, you know, maybe it’s time to get it. Maybe it’s time you think about it a little more.”

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Neville said she plans to tell her mom both she and her husband are fully vaccinated, and “maybe it’s her turn now.” 

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The FDA giving full approval to the Pfizer vaccine this week, she said, had little impact on her decision to be vaccinated. 

“I would like to believe that at some point soon, I would have gotten it anyway. Just because like, I don’t know, you never know what’s gonna happen this coming winter,” she said.

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It’s estimated just 28 percent of the state’s Latino and Hispanic population is fully vaccinated. When Neville first spoke with IPR in April, it was estimated only 10 percent of Iowa’s Latinos were fully vaccinated.

Neville clarified she, and her circle, has never been anti-vaccine, they just wanted to wait and see how the vaccine would affect people. She gets why some people haven’t received the vaccine, and she shares a fear of the unknown. But, she said the spread of COVID-19 is “something bigger than just us as individuals.”

“While I still am hesitant, even though I have that second dose…I don’t know, there’s just something in me that says it would be really a bad idea to not get the vaccine,” she said. 

Gov. Kim Reynolds tweeted this morning since the FDA fully approved the Pfizer vaccine, she encourages all eligible Iowans to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

Multiple organizations throughout the state have worked, and are currently working, to vaccinate Spanish-speakers and Latinos

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