PUEBLO — Looking at data across the state of Colorado, the vaccinated population overwhelming contains those who identify as "White" or "Non-Hispanic."
"Because of our large numbers in Pueblo County, what I keep saying to the state, is it only serves the state to provide more vaccines to Pueblo County, because probably 6/10 people that are vaccinated in Pueblo County, will be from communities of Colorado," said Theresa Trujillo with the Center for Health Progress (CHP).
The CHP just received a $10,000 grant from the City of Pueblo to help them as they try and make vaccines more accessible to minorities in the city. The organization has been hosting vaccine registration clinics, finding that a registration was more useful than trying to set up their own equity clinic like the Governor's office suggested.
"If you’re an organization without medical infrastructure that doesn’t regularly see patients, finding volunteers to run a clinic... There’s currently no compensation for this work," said Trujillo.
Lieutenant Governor of Colorado Dianne Primavera made her way to Pueblo from Denver, as she explored equity clinic's along the way. She spoke to News5 at the Boone Guest House vaccination clinic for disabled adults saying, "It’s been good to see the clinic in different areas doing outreach to marginalized communities".
However, Trujillo said since beginning the outreach CHP has been "hearing a lot of complaints from people in the community that they’re unable to make appointments in Spanish". Tujillo and other bilingual volunteers will help the people they meet at their registration clinics made phone calls to sign-up for the wait-list, but she fears that it's not enough.
"That's very disempowering for folks. Then I have concerns about.... Are folks going to follow through with this? IF they're registering over the phone with someone and they're expecting a callback around how to make an appointment, who's going to be there to do that?"
As of right now, Trujillo believes the best way to get minority communities vaccinated is to "Improve existing structures that are well funded, we’ve got to make those more equitable, remove as many barriers as possible to remove and get folks familiar with that system".
CHP will be hosting a registration clinic at El Centro Del Quinto Sol on Thursday, March 4. If you are aware of a business or place in an area of Pueblo the could use CHP's services and is willing to let them host a vaccine clinic, please reach out to CHP on their website.