WALLINGFORD — During the initial vaccine rollout, health officials noticed a gap in vaccination rates, with non-Hispanic white and Black residents being inoculated at higher percentages than Hispanic residents.
While recent data show that gap has closed locally for people with at least one dose, officials say there is a lot of work to do to get vaccination rates even higher.
The Spanish Community of Wallingford has hosted 12 vaccine clinics and will continue to host additional clinics in the coming months.
“Over the past six months, the Spanish Community of Wallingford (SCOW) has partnered and worked closely with the Wallingford Health Department, Hartford HealthCare, and Department of Public Health to host 12 pop-up vaccination clinics at our agency,” said Adriana Rodríguez, SCOW executive director. “We are proud of the great response of over 750 individuals who have been vaccinated.”
In Wallingford, vaccination rates for Hispanic residents have begun to outpace the rate for non-Hispanic white residents, with 63.6 percent of Hispanic residents receiving at least one dose of vaccine as of Sept. 15 compared to 62.3 percent of non-Hispanic white residents. The rate among Black residents was higher than both groups at 72.5 percent.
The data from June 9, when the state began tracking town by town data by race and ethnicity, showed 51.2 percent of Hispanic, 57.5 percent of non-Hispanic Black and 56.8 of non-Hispanic white residents received at least one dose of the vaccine. The total percentage of residents with at least one dose in Wallingford is 71.9 percent.
The Sept. 15 data showed 68.2 percent of all Wallingford residents are fully vaccinated including 58.7 percent of Hispanic, 66.3 percent of non-Hispanic Black and 59.9 percent of non-Hispanic white residents. In June, 42.7 percent of Hispanic, 50.7 percent of non-Hispanic Black and 52 percent of non-Hispanic white residents were fully vaccinated. Overall, 58.6 percent of total residents were fully vaccinated in early June.
SCOW and the Wallingford Health Department have made various efforts throughout the pandemic to ensure the Latino community is informed and up-to-date with COVID-19 information.
Chief sanitarian Vanessa Bautista has participated in virtual question and answer sessions administered by SCOW to keep Latinos and community members informed on the latest updates and clinic information.
SCOW will administer additional vaccine clinics within the next few weeks on Sept. 25, Sept. 29, and Oct. 2.
“I am very proud of the advancement in the vaccination rates within the Hispanic community, but there is still a lot of work to do. We plan to continue using several outreach strategies to reach those who have not been vaccinated and continue providing our regular COVID-19 information sessions with the Wallingford Health Department and Hartford HealthCare,” Rodriguez said. “These efforts would not be as successful without the collaboration of the several agencies, businesses and organizations in Wallingford and Meriden.”
In Meriden, 62.7 percent of Hispanic, 39.5 percent of non-Hispanic Black residents and 56.5 percent of non-Hispanic white residents received at least one dose of the vaccine. Overall, 64.6 percent of all Meriden residents have received at least one dose. According to the state data, 59.1 percent of Meriden residents are fully vaccinated – including 55.5 percent of Hispanic, 32.5 percent of non-Hispanic Black and 53.9 percent of non-Hispanic white residents.
In June, 53.9 percent of Meriden residents had at least one dose including 46.9 percent of Hispanic, 39.5 percent of non-Hispanic Black and 50.4 percent of non-Hispanic white residents. Fully vaccinated data from June showed 45.2 percent of all Meriden residents including 36.3 percent of Hispanic, 44.7 percent of non-Hispanic white and 32.5 percent of non-Hispanic Black residents.