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The WhatsApp tool also provides information on where and how to get the vaccines. Photo: Courtesy of WhatsApp.

The biggest messaging app in the world teamed up with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention beginning this week to increase vaccination rates among U.S. Latinos.

Details: Latinos use WhatsApp more than any other demographic group in the U.S., and remain the second-least vaccinated group, after Black Americans, per CDC data.

Why it matters: WhatsApp was for several months a vector for the spread of COVID-19 disinformation across the globe until the Facebook-owned app began countering with chatbots.

  • Sonia Sroka, head of multicultural communications, tells Axios Latino the CDC alliance expands on a campaign first begun with the World Health Organization and Latin American governments like Argentina's and Mexico's.
  • The CDC chatbot is in Spanish since there is less factual immunization info available in that language in the U.S.

The big picture: Vaccination rates for Latinos in the U.S. have stumbled over hurdles to access.

  • Younger Latinos also report hesitancy over confusion and misinformation about the vaccines’ effectiveness.
  • The idea is to provide accurate information through “the apps that people actually use every day,” Sroka tells Axios Latino.

Go deeper

Oct 3, 2021 - Health

CDC releases COVID guidelines for the holidays

Photo: Noam Galai/Getty Images

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidelines Friday for how individuals can decrease their risk of catching or spreading COVID-19 during the upcoming holiday season.

Driving the news: Among the measures suggested are hosting outdoors or virtual celebrations, wearing a mask if not fully vaccinated, and using fans by open windows and doors to keep the air at indoor gatherings fresh.

  • The CDC advises against traveling unless fully vaccinated and wearing masks on public transportation.
  • "The safest way to celebrate is virtually, with people who live with you, or outside and at least 6 feet apart from others," the guidance adds.
Updated 19 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Vaccines: Booster shots overtake first doses in the U.S. — Pfizer to vaccinate entire Brazilian city as part of study — FDA panel endorses shot of J&J booster for adultsU.S. to lift restrictions for fully vaccinated international travelers on Nov. 8.
  2. Health: New cases down, but the West is at risk — Low vaccination rates exacerbate America's caregiving crisis — COVID is here to stay. So what does "victory" look like? — FDA will review Merck COVID-19 pill.
  3. Politics: NHL announces all but four players have been vaccinated — WHO names new advisory group on COVID origins — Biden admin warns Moderna to "step up" global vaccine supply.
  4. Education: LA extends deadline for school employee vaccinations amid staffing shortage — Parent sues Wisconsin school district after child tests positive — Arizona can't use aid for anti-mask education grants, Treasury says.
  5. Variant tracker: Where different strains are spreading.

American, Alaska Airlines and JetBlue add staff vaccine mandates

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

American Airlines, JetBlue and Alaska Airlines have joined United Airlines in mandating that employees must be vaccinated against COVID-19, per the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: The Biden administration has been pressing businesses to require workers to be vaccinated against the virus as vaccination rates flatten across the U.S.