By Michael Abeyta

DENVER (CBS4)– Some people in Colorado may be hesitant to take the vaccine when it is available to them. That’s why one group is trying to communicate with them, to get them the facts and also to dispel misinformation.

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Dr. Oswaldo Grenardo has seen a lack of trust in medicine among communities of color firsthand. Most of the time for good reason.

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“A lot of it is misinformation they are given or seeing,” he says, “but a lot of it is the discrimination that many racial and ethnic minorities have seen in the past.”

That hesitancy is hurting our communities. According to the CDC, racial and ethnic communities are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Plus, the economic fallout has meant layoffs and hardship for families of color because essential workers are disproportionately racial or ethnic minorities. Still, that deep-seated mistrust is leading some to fear of vaccination.

Grenardo says it shouldn’t be feared because it will help communities of color, “This vaccine gives us hope to return to some normal state sooner rather than later,” he says.

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(credit: US Dept. of Education, Health and Welfare)

That’s why the Colorado Vaccine Equity Task Force kicked off outreach efforts to people of color earlier this month. They want to let people know they shouldn’t be afraid of the COVID vaccines.

Their first step is a website with accurate vaccine information, but they also are planning to reach out to racial and ethnic community members in medicine and people who have already been vaccinated to help them spread their message.

“To make sure that those patients get really the information that allows them to make a great decision for themselves.”

He says it’s critically important not just for health, but for equality.

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“We are being left behind in this pandemic and to then have our communities have a mistrust and issues within getting the vaccine will only put us further back.”

Michael Abeyta