July 23th, 2021
There long has been a lack of high-quality medical services in rural America and over the past year, the pandemic increasingly has brought these inequities to light. Since COVID-19 vaccines first became available, data generally has shown that the communities least likely to be vaccinated are those that suffered health care disparities long before the pandemic began. Compared to residents in urban communities, rural Americans are more likely to be skeptical of vaccines and have difficulty accessing them. Boosting vaccinations among vulnerable populations requires trust and it takes trusted community partners to make that happen.
Tulare County Coalition Advocating for Pesticide Safety (CAPS) is one of those community partners. An all-volunteer nonprofit, CAPS has been working with local communities for years, building trust through personal relationships. CAPS volunteers now are going door-to-door to talk to residents about vaccines and their concerns or challenges getting vaccinated. The coalition’s Tulare Committee president, Maria Reyes, says volunteers are able to convince most of the people they speak with to get vaccinated.
A new video from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and Freethink highlights Tulare – CAPS as an important partner of the Vaccine Equity Campaign, an effort of the State of California and The Center. This video featuring Tulare – CAPS volunteers and Chet P. Hewitt, president and CEO of Sierra Health Foundation and The Center, is one in a series of videos focused on the impacts of Chan Zuckerberg Initiative’s COVID-19 response funding, including the Vaccine Equity Campaign. Access this inspiring video on YouTube.