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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

Apr 26, 2021 - Health

Vaccine hesitancy remains high among essential workers

Eugenio Brito, Vice President of Bodegas of America receives a Pfizer vaccination shot at an event to announce five new walk-in pop-up vaccination sites for New York City Bodega, grocery store and supermarket workers amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. Photo: by Mike Segar-Pool/Getty Images

Essential workers who are not in health care are less likely to want a vaccine than the rest of the general public, according to new figures from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Why it matters: As vaccines become more available, health officials are increasingly grappling with vaccine hesitancy, particularly among those most at risk.

Attn: There are now plenty of vaccine appointments in the Twin Cities

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The days of compulsively refreshing vaccinespotter.org to get your shot slot are over.

State of play: After weeks of demand dwarfing supply, there are now plenty of options for getting a vaccine that don't require driving from the Twin Cities to a Walmart in Fergus Falls.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

First fatality confirmed in downtown Austin mass shooting

Police barricades near the scene of a shooting in Austin, Texas, on Saturday. Photo: Sergio Flores/Getty Images

A 25-year-old man died Sunday of injuries sustained in a mass shooting that wounded 13 other people in downtown Austin, Texas, the previous day, police confirmed.

Driving the news: Austin police named the victim as Douglas John Kantor, as they continued to search for one of two suspects. One suspect was taken into custody on Saturday following the shooting on 6th Street, a popular area with bars and restaurants.