San Diego County

Racial Disparity in Vaccinated Children in San Diego County

A COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Fort Worth is now offering vaccines to children between 5 and 11 following approval from the CDC.
NBC 5 News

According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), as of Oct. 17, 691 children under the age of 18 have died from COVID-19, 146 of them between the ages of 5 and 11, so the disparity in vaccination has activists worried.

Following the approval of the vaccine for children ages 5 to 11 on Nov. 2, government agencies and healthcare coalitions expected a wave of children seeking immunization. However, they have not seen the number of Hispanic minors they expected.

"We expected a wave of dads, especially Latinos, who want to get together these holidays and who want to see grandparents and uncles," says Elizabeth Castro, of the Latino Health Coalition, but it has not been so.

Pfizer says its COVID-19 vaccine is safe for children ages 5 to 11. NBC 7's Nicole Gomez speaks with a San Diego-based doctor about this and shares what you need to know.

According to figures from San Diego County, from Nov. 10 to date, 1,521 Hispanic or Latino children have been immunized, while 3,338 White children have been immunized.

According to Castro, the disparity is due to the same fear and lack of information.

Tiki Ibarra is an example of this, neither she nor her 9-year-old daughter have been immunized because according to her, "the risk of the vaccine. There are people who got a very bad reaction.”

According to the FDA, the vaccine for children between 5 and 11 years old exceeds 90% effectiveness. Although its approval so far is for emergency use for this age group, the CDC determined that the vaccine is safe for the vast majority of adolescents and children.

Miriam Rodriguez was one of the first to vaccinate her three girls.

"There are few places that offer the vaccine for minors to go test, for me it is very important that my children are vaccinated."

Access to vaccines is the goal of the Latino Health Coalition of San Diego, which is hitting the streets, markets, bookstores trying to convince parents that vaccinating their children could save them from possible hospitalizations and or death.

"The purpose is that the virus does not continue to infect more and more children, sometimes they do not have symptoms and we do not know that they have it. If they are not vaccinated, and they go visit with grandparents and uncles, we also do not have that peace," Castro said.

This story was originally reported by NBC 7's sister station, Telemundo 20. To read the article, click here.

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