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Expand chart
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment; Chart: Will Chase/Axios

The disparities in vaccine rates continues to vex Colorado officials, representing one of the most significant setbacks in the battle against COVID-19.

Why it matters: Addressing the disparities is key to the state hitting its 75% vaccination rate goal by summer to reach herd immunity.

State of play: Hispanic residents represent 21.7% of the state's population but only 8.6% of the people with at least one vaccine dose, state data shows.

  • In Denver, the problem is more pronounced: Latinos are 30% of the city's population but only 13% have received the first dose, Denverite reports.

What's happening: The reasons for lower vaccination rates among Latinos is multifaceted, state leaders explained.

  • The state's priority list put older residents at the top and only 10% of the Latino population is over age 70.
  • Latino workers tend to work hourly jobs that make getting to a vaccine clinic more difficult.
  • In addition, many Latino residents face technological and language barriers.

What they're saying: "We are clearly aware we are falling behind in our Hispanic communities," said Brandy Emily, the state's deputy director for immunizations. "We know that we have an uphill road ... but we're committed to doing the work."

The other side: Rudy Gonzales, the executive director at Servicios de La Raza, suggested government officials are not the ones best equipped to lead outreach to Latinos, who tend to have more distrust of government.

  • Instead he wants the state to allocate resources in a way that would allow community leaders to run point.

What's next: To improve vaccine equity and make the process more accessible, state officials are retooling their efforts in partnership with community organizations.

  • A mobile clinic is traveling to reach people at job sites and grocery stores.
  • Plus: The state is rolling out a new messaging campaign in Spanish and other languages.
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Go deeper

Aug 4, 2021 - Health

New York City revives vaccine passports

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

New York City yesterday became the first city in the U.S. to require proof of coronavirus vaccination for indoor dining and other leisure activities, a measure popular among public health experts but previously squashed by political backlash to "vaccine passports."

Why it matters: Employers and now local governments are starting to ensure that remaining unvaccinated will have consequences for everyday life, testing the resolve of those who say nothing could persuade them to get a shot.

Aug 3, 2021 - Health

New York City to require vaccination proof for indoor activities

New York City will require proof of vaccination to participate in indoor activities, including visiting gyms and restaurants, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: The mandate is the first of its kind for a major U.S. city, according to de Blasio. France and Italy announced similar requirements last month.

Dems' immigration plan hits major roadblock

Senate Majority Leader Sen. Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The Senate parliamentarian ruled Sunday that Democrats cannot include pathways to citizenship in the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package, per a copy of the ruling obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: It's a blow to Democrats who hoped to provide pathways for millions of undocumented immigrants in the U.S. Using reconciliations would have allowed them to pass politically contentious immigration changes with only 50 votes, as opposed to the usual 60 required.