Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) / La Red Hispana, The Public Good Projects (PGP) and World Voices Media (WVM) are working together to increase acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines and combat false narratives surrounding vaccination in Hispanic communities. Funding for this effort is provided by the CDC Foundation through a financial assistance award from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The campaign—which includes Spanish multimedia messages on digital platforms, radio stations, and print media—is part of the CDC Foundation’s efforts to assist the CDC and other public health responders in combating the spread of COVID-19 and addressing vaccine access disparities.
While vaccination coverage has increased, there is still a lot of work to be done. In the initial vaccination rollout, Black and Hispanic people were less likely to receive a vaccine than their white counterparts. However, over the past couple of months, there has been a gradual decrease in the vaccination rate disparity, especially among Hispanics.
“While significant progress has been made in vaccinating our Hispanic communities, a sizable proportion, particularly among younger Hispanics, still expresses some hesitation about vaccines,” said Alison Rodden, Chief Executive Officer of HCN.
Misinformation is making the problem worse. Young adults aged 18 to 34 are more than twice as likely as the general population to use encrypted platforms like WhatsApp and Telegram. This makes it hard to verify shared information and fosters the spread of Spanish language misinformation.
“Unfortunately, our Hispanic communities are flooded with false publications, videos, and articles that seek to discourage COVID vaccines among Spanish-speaking individuals, who already face additional barriers to vaccination,” explained Alison Rodden.
False claims and worries that COVID-19 vaccines have long-term effects on infertility or a person’s DNA are among the reasons some Hispanics have not been vaccinated. However, there is no link between COVID-19 vaccination and fertility, nor do they interact with human DNA. Vaccines have been confirmed to be safe and effective by countless studies, all major health organizations, and almost all reputable medical professionals. More than 4 billion people to date have been safely vaccinated around the world.
As part of the campaign, HCN, PGP and WVMlaunched El Beacon, a new initiative comprised of Hispanics who have already received a COVID-19 vaccine and wish to serve as role models for their peers, followers, and community. The initiative’s objective is to combat misinformation and disinformation and to persuade those who still have questions to get vaccinated.
Hispanic celebrities such as TV host Raúl Gonzalez and Dr. César Lozano, international speaker and host of the radio program “Por el Placer de Vivir,” are also supporting the initiative by sharing their support for COVID-19 vaccines on social media platforms.
Even though COVID-19 cases and hospitalization rates are declining across the country, it doesn’t mean the pandemic is over.
“Mitigating misinformation is key to the success of any modern immunization program. Vaccine misinformation currently plaguing Black and brown communities has not received the attention it needs. I’m very pleased the CDC Foundation has made this work a top priority. We think it needs to be the beginning of a long-term, strategic focus for all of public health,” said Joe Smyser, Ph.D., MSPH, Chief Executive Officer of PGP.
Additionally, the campaign—which will run through April—includes the distribution of public service announcements via La Red Hispana´s affiliate radio stations, integrations into its programs Bienvenidos America, Dr. Isabel, and En Privado and a dedicated page on the La Red Hispana website. Teams of communications experts have also distributed COVID-19 toolkits and evidence-based social media assets to assist community-based organizations.
The campaign invites the general public to join #ElBeacon at ElBeacon.org and become part of a network of people looking to fight COVID-19 misinformation and make a difference in their communities.
For more information about the campaign in Spanish, visit: laredhispana.org/covid
This project is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $2,499,896 with 100 percent funded by CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government.
About Hispanic Communications Network and La Red Hispana
Hispanic Communications Network -HCN- is the market’s leading communication service, dedicated to the production and distribution of educational and informational content for the Hispanic community in the United States. HCN is positioned to provide its clients and government collaborators, and nonprofit organizations with effective solutions when it comes to producing and distributing media campaigns focused on service and the generation of wellbeing within Hispanic communities. To learn more, visit: hcnmedia.com and laredhispana.com
PGP (The Public Good Projects) is a public health nonprofit. PGP’s mission is to apply best evidence and practices from the public and private sectors to create bold projects for health. PGP’s programs and initiatives are evidence-based, employ a collective impact model, and are scientifically evaluated. To learn more, visit: publicgoodprojects.org
World Voices Media leverages traditional, digital, and social media and alliances with community-based organizations to achieve positive social impact in the fields of human rights, community engagement, health, and sustainable environments. To learn more, visit: worldvoicesmedia.org/