Data from the New Mexico Department of Health is now showing that kids who identify as Hispanic or Latino are at the bottom of the list when it comes to vaccination rates in the state.
“I think it’s a complex problem. There’s a lot of distrust, right? And concerns in areas of high social vulnerabilities. It’s up to us to keep on working to help answer people’s questions, so that we can get more and more people and reduce those health disparities.”
That’s Dr. Laura Parajon, the Deputy Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Health. She says that in kids aged 16-17, Black and African Americans have the second lowest rate at 50%, followed by the white population at 60%. Hispanic and Latino populations are hovering around a concerning low of 30%.
And the trend continues with other age groups.
“What we think we might be seeing here is that some parents may be willing to get vaccinated themselves, but they have concerns about their children getting vaccinated,” Parajon said.
The data comes from a press conference on Wednesday, September 1st, where top state health officials gave an update on the COVID-19 status in New Mexico.
There, health officials also warned the public that hospital ICU beds are “quite tight,” with about 39 available beds at the moment – which are not actually real beds in a traditional hospital room. Those are full. But, these are “stretch beds” in recently converted areas to take in extra COVID patients.
This comes at a time where thousands of medical professionals are needed to fully staff our hospitals in the state.
The New Mexico Department of Health is urging the public to consider getting vaccinated to protect our most vulnerable populations.