Many residents in the San Diego area have now received COVID-19 vaccinations. But what goes practically unseen is the difficulty that some minorities face to get vaccinated.
Bridging the Vaccination Gap
Lisa Montes, a fourth-generation Solana Beach resident, knocked on doors in her community to tell others about the availability of vaccines. She found that some of her neighbors struggled to get the shot because they didn’t speak English, lacked an internet connection or phone, or had poor transportation. Some also feared that their residency status might get them in trouble.
At the same time, vaccination clinics were set up conveniently close to significant Mexican populations, such as in a park in Eden Gardens, giving locals an easy way to get vaccinated—and people like Lisa Montes a place to direct them to. City Councilwoman Kelly Harless spearheaded these clinics to bring additional doses to struggling communities.
Helping With a Personal Touch
These person-to-person efforts are necessary. Some individuals don’t have the ability to make online appointments or take time off of work to travel far to a location where they may not receive a shot. But someone who speaks Spanish and knows them personally can help them find a nearby clinic and get vaccinated.
Bringing the Community Together During the Pandemic
Eden Gardens resident Manny Aguilar is the leader of La Colonia de Eden Gardens, a nonprofit group. Through various events, such as food drives, he has helped community members who have faced the toughest challenges during the pandemic. His nonprofit is another group working to educate Spanish speakers on how to get vaccinations and the safety and importance of them.
The area of Solana Beach to the west of I-5 and to the south of Lomas Santa Fe Drive includes more homes that lack internet than any other local area. Many who struggle with English also live there.
Things Are Looking Up, But There’s More To Do!
More efforts are needed to help populations who are receiving less than their fair share of vaccinations. From what we have seen so far, we’re confident that caring people in this city will continue to reach out to any who need life-saving help.