According to the Washington COVID-19 Dashboard, Latinx people comprise 12% of our population, 32% of COVID-19 cases, but only 2% of those who have been vaccinated.
Once again, Latinx and other minority groups have been left behind. Examples of the structural barriers preventing us from getting the COVID-19 vaccine include:
• You need to have a computer with internet to access the state vaccine website.
• You need to be bilingual to understand how to change the screen from English to Spanish.
• You need transportation and flexibility to schedule an appointment.
Even if unintentional, these structural barriers due to systematic racism have marginalized us during the rollout of the vaccine in our state.
We receive minimum wage to harvest food for your families, we clean your houses, we prepare and serve your delicious tacos and margaritas, we take care of your children and grandparents, and most important, a brown face may be the last face seen by those who die from COVID-19 in the hospital. The faces of your essential workers are brown. But your arrogance, avoidance and insensitivity to our culture, our heritage and your lack of cultural humility are killing all of us.
Ileana Maria Ponce-Gonzalez, MD, MPH, CNC, executive director, Community Health Worker Coalition for Migrants and Refugees, Edmonds