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New Local Research Report Released on Improving COVID-19 Vaccination Equity for Latino Populations in Baltimore City

Center News


October 20, 2021 – The CommuniVax Coalition, which is led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and the Department of Anthropology at Texas State University, today released a new local report that shares findings from rapid research within Hispanic/Latino communities in Baltimore, Maryland.

The new report, Improving COVID-19 Vaccine Equity for the Latino Population in Baltimore City: Community-Informed Guidance, is produced by the Johns Hopkins Centro SOL, a local team embedded within Baltimore’s Hispanic/Latino communities.

It outlines findings and presents key recommendations for improving city-wide COVID-19 vaccination efforts as well as addressing the systemic issues that currently prevent and discourage vaccination.

Key recommendations for improving city-wide COVID-19 vaccination:

  • The Baltimore City Health Department (BCHD), the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MIMA), and local health systems must continue to strengthen and establish permanent collaborations with private entities and other government sectors that serve the Latino community. 
  • Since highly successful models of service delivery already exist within the Latino community (e.g., food distribution programs), private and public agencies alike should focus on streamlining service deliveries, such that one encounter can result in the receipt of several services. 

Key recommendations for addressing the systemic issues around vaccination:

  • Public health and government agencies should capitalize on the infrastructure and success of COVID-19 initiatives by establishing a permanent, standing version of the multisectoral partnerships created at the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Rather than requiring families and individuals to come to health centers ad hoc to receive immunizations, the BCHD and local health systems should integrate vaccination campaigns into routine operations.
  • The city’s public entities’ offices need to prioritize hiring and maintaining staff who can consistently and appropriately engage with the Latino community. The BCHD and mayor’s offices must increase the number of Spanish-speakers and Latino individuals on staff, rather than relying on single employees.
  • The BCHD should formalize and increase funding for community health workers/promotoras to continue building an enduring relationship with the Latino community and incorporating community needs and voices. Promotora program needs include expansion as well as appropriate pay,

Read the report.