Local Church Teams Up With OCCHD To Vaccinate Latino Community


Friday, May 21st 2021, 10:20 pm


OKLAHOMA CITY -

Some leaders in the metro's Latino community want to use their personal COVID-19 stories to inspire people to get vaccinated.

The Oklahoma City-County Health Department told News 9 only 18% of the Latino community in Oklahoma City is fully vaccinated.

According to research by the CDC, Latinos are almost two times more likely to get COVID-19 than non-Hispanics.

“Never…I never thought that I would, I remember at the time you would hear on the news and you never thought, ‘It could happen to me,’ and ironically the week after, I tested positive,” said Nathan Olivas an Associate Pastor at Templo De Alabanza.

These statistics leave community leaders and health officials with two battles, fighting COVID-19 and overcoming vaccine hesitancy in a community that research shows has been disproportionately affected by the virus.

“That experience really has pushed us to get educated and to encourage people that it is in their best interest to get vaccinated,” said Olivas.

This whole vaccination effort has been about trust, when their pastor endorses it, when we get that backing from them and then people come and get vaccinated,” said Molly Fleming with the Oklahoma City-County Health Department.

Olivas and the other two pastors at Templo De Alabanza on Southwest 25th near South Harvey all contracted the virus at the same time.

They closed the church twice. Now they have a message for their community who is still hesitant to get vaccinated.

“We want what is best for them health wise, spiritual wise, but for them to know that the church is on board and wants the best for them,” said Olivas.

Saturday, May 22 the church will open its doors from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Latino community to get their shots.

All three vaccines will be available.

The health department said they will have 1,000 doses available. People can either schedule an appointment or walk in, but they will need a form of ID.

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Editor’s Note: News 9 is part of a local initiative that brings all of our local media outlets together to give Oklahoma a United Voice in promoting a healthy dialogue on race. To see more stories, visit UnitedVoiceOK.org.