OSU study aims to dissect vaccine hesitancy within Latino community

Here's what the study found.

Posted: Oct 2, 2021 9:02 AM
Updated: Oct 2, 2021 9:35 AM

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- A new Oregon State University study is looking at the reasons for vaccine hesitancy in the Latino community.

The study found that a lack of trusted medical resources, traumatic past experiences with medical care and widespread misinformation have contributed to vaccine hesitancy in this community.

According to the university, the study recruited Latino families from around Oregon who had children ages 13 and older in grades 9-12, and who self-identified as Latinx, Latino or Hispanic.

A total of 22 mothers and 24 youths took part. Researchers conducted 90-minute interviews with the mothers, 60-minute interviews with the teens and follow-up conversations with the mothers.

“Protecting the family should be at the center of promoting vaccines in communities that have collectivist values,” Jonathan Garcia, author of the study and an associate professor in OSU’s College of Public Health and Human Sciences, said. “The other big piece of vaccine promotion is that systems of engagement are necessary to dispel mistrust, and that means addressing historical trauma.”

A major fear found from the study stemmed from the myth that the COVID vaccine causes sterilization.

Nancy Vargas, co-author and an OSU doctoral student says it's important to get this information out to all BIPOC communities to ensure people feel safe getting vaccinated.

She, alongside other researchers were invited to speak at the Eugene Springfield NAACP to talk about the historical mistrust in public health systems from BIPOC communities.

"I think it should be equitable," Vargas said. "I think so many people will be more suspicious if they start with Latinos -- an effect of mistrust and something we call un effecto di disconfianzia. To encourage people to get vaccinated, I think they need people from the community to do campaigns -- people that are already involved and we know they're working for the good of the community."

Vargas said there are a lot of systemic barriers in place that have made it difficult for some people in the Latino community to get the vaccine.

To view the study CLICK HERE.

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