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Barriers To Access Mean Unequal Vaccine Rates Among Undocumented Californians

Healthcare workers get vaccinated for COVID-19 at the Martin Luther King Jr Community Hospital. Chava Sanchez/LAist
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State data shows that fewer than 20% of COVID-19 vaccines administered in California have gone to Latinos, with even fewer going to people who are undocumented.

Belinda Escobosa, national senior counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, said there are a number of issues preventing the Latino community from accessing the injections.

“We have barriers such as a lack of trust in the healthcare system, worries about sharing personal information, and also just misinformation or disinformation,” she said.

The vaccination appointment system is also largely conducted online, which adds yet another hurdle.

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“The system is set up really for people who have Internet access, computers, email, speak English, and have transportation,” Escobosa said. “That's not necessarily true for the Latino community, and definitely not for the undocumented immigrants community.”

COVID-19 vaccinations are available for free. Proof of citizenship is not required and vaccine providers are not allowed to ask about immigration status.