Community partners together to help Hispanic and Latino community get vaccinated against COVID-19

Updated: Jun. 16, 2021 at 11:11 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) -It’s a targeted effort to help vaccinate the Hispanic and Latino community.

Community partners teamed up to help break down barriers so they could be protected against COVID-19.

It’s a community of people within the community. Nassau Woods is home for about 300 families, people who before Wednesday were largely not vaccinated.

“We went to the houses here just to find out,” said Alfonso Ribot, President of the Metropolitan Savannah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “And we asked the question have you been vaccinated, 80% of them said no.”

That was a concern for the Metropolitan Savannah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, so they partnered with St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System to bring the vaccine directly to Hispanic and Latino neighborhoods.

“We feel privileged to be asked to do this, said Sister Pat Baber, Director of St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System’s St. Mary’s Community & Health Centers . “I mean this is a great gift to us and a blessing for us to be able to come here and see the joy and know that you know we might be preventing a death.”

According to the CDC Hispanic and Latino persons are more likely to not only get COVID-19, but be hospitalized and die from it. Georgia’s vaccine dashboard shows only 26.5% of the Hispanics in Chatham County have gotten their first dose.

“The biggest barrier is access,” explained Ribot. “It’s not available when people can have access to it most of the vaccines are during the day and that’s when they’re working.”

They say transportation, language and trust can be concerns, and this event breaks down all those by meeting them at their home and alongside familiar faces. One Nassau Woods resident got his first dose Wednesday for his birthday. For Carlos Ramirez, he did it as a testimony.

“As a pastor for the Latino community here in Savannah, it’s a way to tell them, to tell everybody in our community that I believe that this is safe,” said Ramirez, Latino Outreach Pastor for Compassion Christian Church. “It’s the right thing to do. We’re doing this for our families for our communities and so that we can leave this behind us.”

More than two dozen people got their Pfizer shot at the first clinic, but with several events planned leaders know word will spread.

“I think we can learn a lesson from them,” explained Sister Pat Baber. “Come on out take care of your community, take care of yourself. But in taking care of yourself getting the vaccine your taking care of the community.”

Not only do events like this help specific neighborhoods, but our overall herd immunity.

The next St. Joseph’s/Candler event is set for June 17 at Regency on Quacco Road from 5:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. They will also be at Savannah Pines on Old Dean Forest Road June 18 from 5:30 P.M. - 7:30 P.M. and on the 20 from 11:30 A.M. - 1:00 P.M. at Primera Iglesia Bautista Hispana de Savannah on Gamble Road.

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