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Orange County Health Department Targets Hispanic Residents With COVID Events

The rate of vaccines that are going to Florida Hispanics has increased since March of 2021.
The rate of vaccines that are going to Florida Hispanics has increased since March of 2021.

Orange County health officials are targeting the area’s Spanish speaking population when it comes to getting out information about Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows the share of vaccinations going to Hispanic Floridians has nearly doubled from March of 2021 to September. About 17 percent of vaccines were going to Hispanic Floridians in March, while 32 percent went to Hispanic Floridians in September; about 27 percent of the state's population is Hispanic.

The Orange County Health Department and Hispanic Health Initiatives have two events in the next week focusing on Orlando’s Hispanic community.

“There’s a lot of mistrust," said Josephine Mercado, CEO of Hispanic Health Initiatives. "It’s not only the government, it’s mistrust of even our friends who may be spreading misinformation, unknowingly. So that’s the purpose of the meeting, to see if we can put aside some of these fears, some of these myths.”

The first event will feature Dr. Gamalier Mestre, a Puerto Rico-born doctor, who will answer questions about vaccines and boosters. That event is Tuesday, Sept. 21,  from 6 to 7 p.m. in Spanish, and 7:30 to 8:30 in English.

And next week, on Tuesday, Sept. 28, Dr. Luisa Mena, the medical director of True Health, will answer questions about monoclonal antibody treatments at the same times.

“Don’t wait until you have COVID to find out where you can go," Mercado said. "Don’t wait until you have COVID to decide if you’re going to do it. They should think about this before.”

Check here for more information about each event in English.

And check here for information about each event in Spanish.