What do the King of Latin Pop and the chief medical adviser to President Biden have in common? They both want to reduce vaccine hesitancy in the Latinx community.
At the annual Latin American Music Awards that took place last week, hosted by Jacqueline Bracamontes and featuring performances by Karol G, Ozuna, Anitta, and Pitbull, Ricky Martin joined Dr. Anthony Fauci to talk about the importance of getting COVID-19 vaccines to the Latinx community, according to People.
“First of all, why do you think the Hispanic community should be vaccinated?” Martin asked Fauci during the televised conversation on Spanish-language TV network Telemundo.
“They disproportionately are bearing the burden of COVID-19, so it’s extremely important to get Hispanics to get vaccinated to protect themselves, their families, and ultimately their community,” Fauci responded.
In the United States, Hispanic people are underrepresented among those vaccinated for COVID-19. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), only 11% of people who had received at least one dose of the vaccine identified as Hispanic. Meanwhile, members of the Latinx community have been affected by COVID-19 at rates disproportionate to their population.
Despite making up 18.4% of the population, people who identify as Hispanic comprise nearly 30% of COVID-19 cases in the US.
Martin also asked Fauci about whether the vaccines are safe, and if they have any side effects.
"The usual ones when you get vaccinated — you get a sore arm for maybe a day. When you get the second dose, you can feel fatigue or a little muscle ache. It virtually never lasts any more than 24 hours or so, and then it's fine," Fauci said. "So it's a quite safe vaccine."
Now that all adults in the US are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, according to the New York Times, addressing vaccine hesitancy among Hispanic adults is key to addressing racial inequalities relating to COVID-19, particularly as regulators seek approval to vaccinate children under 16.
After speaking with Fauci, Martin addressed Spanish-speaking viewers, encouraging people to continue wearing masks, social distancing, and to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
"Ya estamos del otro lado," Martin said. "We're on the other side. We need to keep protecting ourselves and we'll get through this."
Answering questions about the COVID-19 vaccines is an important part of addressing vaccine hesitancy across populations, which is why Global Citizen launched VAX BECAUSE, an online hub for people to ask questions about the vaccines and find fact-based information about COVID-19.
As the world’s global vaccination rollout continues, it’s important for as many people to get vaccinated as possible to end the COVID-19 pandemic for everyone, everywhere.