Doctors hopeful Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine’s FDA approval could help Latino perceptions of the shots

Written by on August 31, 2021

Doctors hopeful Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine’s FDA approval could help Latino perceptions of the shots

By Anthony Orozco

August 31, 2021

AP Photo/Rogelio V. Solis, File

Some medical professionals are hoping they see an uptick in vaccinations now that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine has FDA approval.

Listen to the story.

But some doctors think less official forms of approval may be more effective, especially in the Latino community. 

While the approval could empower employers and schools to implement vaccine mandates, Dr. Anne Marie Derrico, chief medical officer at Union Medical Community Care in Lancaster, does not think the approval alone will convince people who have held out so far.

Word-of-mouth endorsements and having candid conversations with doctors go much further for Spanish speakers.

“I think in the communities that we’re talking about the Latino communities, absolutely. Word of mouth, and the experience that someone that you trust has had,” Derrico said. 

When it comes to the Latino community, people are more apt to respond to endorsements from people they know and trust. 

“Certainly the full approval of vaccines helps with that, but I think it’s the sort of one-on-one conversations and reassurance and education that we’re providing to patients at this point,” she said. 

Latinos are not far behind other ethnicities in terms of vaccination rates.

Outside of Philadelphia, 40% of eligible Latinos are fully vaccinated and 42% of non-Latinos are fully vaccinated, according to state data. 

But compared to non-Latinos, Latinos are three times more likely to be hospitalized and twice as likely to die from coronavirus.

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