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Is COVID-19 vaccine distribution fair and equitable in Arizona?

Coronavirus vaccine
Posted at 6:21 PM, Feb 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-04 20:19:15-05

“It’s very important to know who’s getting vaccinated, what group is getting vaccinated because that means the word is probably not getting out to for example to the Hispanic community,” stated Rodrigo San Martin, the CEO for Clinica la Familia.

Clinica la Familia is right now the only one fully bilingual clinic distributing COVID-19 shots in areas of the Valley where Latinos have been hard hit by the disease.

FULL COVERAGE: COVID-19 vaccine in Arizona

Is the state doing enough to get the COVID-19 vaccine to people in underserved communities?

San Martin worries the state isn't tracking any data to make sure Arizona is distributing the vaccine in an equitable way.

How many of those recipients of the vaccine are white, Black, Latino, Asian, Native American?

Unlike New York or the state of Virginia, Arizona has not released that information.

ABC15 Arizona has requested that information from the state but has yet to receive a response.

How can the public know if that data is even available?

Clinica la Familia has been serving the Latino community for two decades, so ABC15 asked if they have received any type of request from the State to release their logs to keep track of data by demographics.

San Martin responded that they haven’t. Even though they have been a vaccination center since December.

“Every 24 hours we have to do our reporting of who we have vaccinated, but they don’t ask about their ethnicity.”

About 700,000 people have gotten vaccinated for COVID-19 in the state, according to data released by the Arizona Department of Health Services.

Arizona has one of the largest Latino populations in the country. San Martin says having access to data about any racial and ethnic disparities in vaccine distribution would help a great deal.

“We want everyone to get vaccinated so we can put an end to this pandemic, and everyone can move on with their lives,” said San Martin.

According to Mayo Clinic, Latinos and African Americans are dying at an alarming rate from COVID-19.

“We’re fully staffed, we’re ready to vaccinate people,” expressed San Martin.

However, the supply isn’t enough. Clinica la Familia says they have received about 2,000 doses this week, and they have a waiting list.

“We’re doing our best and the only thing we ask for is just vaccines.”

Still San Martin says, they’re welcoming everyone who’s an essential worker to sign up and get vaccinated.

“Teachers, childcare workers, seniors living in congregating settings, law enforcement, grocery and farm workers. Everyone that helps the country to move is considered an essential worker,” said San Martin.

San Martin says they’re ready to help the state to vaccinate more people and to track vaccination rate by demographics.

He emphasizes, people’s immigration status is not part of this data.

“There’s no question about it, everybody can get it.”

The COVID-19 vaccine is free, and you don’t need to be a patient.

You can find more information about scheduling an appointment for a vaccine at Clinica la Familia here.

NOAH clinics are also providing vaccines and have bilingual staff. You can schedule an appointment here.

Mountain Park Health is also providing appointments for COVID-19 vaccines and has bilingual staff. They're currently scheduling two weeks out but have no waiting list. You can schedule an appointment here.