Dr. Rivera-Chávez was interviewed by NBC 7 San Diego in regard to San Diego County’s progress in vaccinating minority communities. (Read NBC 7 story here)

By Ramon Galindo • Published May 15, 2021 • Updated on May 18, 2021 at 10:28 am

San Diego County is making progress in vaccinating minority communities, but a local biologist believes more can be done.

“We need to do a little more, we need to continue to reach out to these communities, educate them on the importance of vaccines,” said Fabian Rivera-Chavez, an assistant professor at UC San Diego with a PhD.

Rivera-Chavez is working to communicate the importance of vaccination in underserved communities.

“Although Hispanics and Blacks are more likely to die from COVID-19, they’re being vaccinated at lower rates than non-Hispanic whites,” said Rivera-Chavez.

According to educator, there are a variety of reasons for the trend. Accessibility barriers remain, for one, and some people skip their opportunity because they don’t want to miss work.

There is also misinformation on the safety of vaccines. Additionally, vaccine hesitancy still exists in Black communities because of a history of medical abuse and maltreatment.