Today 5-6 p.m., the Colorado Vaccine Equity Taskforce, an organization focused on providing vaccine information to diverse communities in Colorado, will host an informational panel over Zoom about the COVID-19 vaccine for Spanish-speaking members of the Latinx community.

The panel will feature Gov. Jared Polis (D-CO); University of Colorado pediatric infectious disease specialist Dr. Edwin Asturia, who managed the pandemic response in Guatemala; and 9HealthFair community outreach coordinator Virginia Garcia.

As vaccines roll out to the public, an equity gap is revealing itself. Latinx/Hispanic individuals lag behind the average when it comes to accessing COVID vaccines due to a variety of reasons.

Undocumented immigrants express concerns about receiving the vaccine because they’re afraid it might impact their immigration process.

Additionally, many Latinx people face cultural barriers to accessing healthcare, ranging from generational mistrust of healthcare to not having the technology to schedule vaccine appointments.

The New York Times reports that some Latinx people think that one dose of a two-dose vaccine is enough, and some people, especially those who only speak Spanish, aren’t even aware of the vaccine.

The importance of tonight’s panel takes place against this backdrop of inequity of pandemic healthcare.

Michele Ames, press contact for the vaccine equity taskforce, says the panel will be set up as a Q&A for Spanish-speaking Latinx community members to ask questions about the vaccine.

“There’s no wrong question here; whatever you need to know about the vaccines in order to feel comfortable getting one, we want to answer your questions,” Ames told the Colorado Times Recorder.

Colorado has a 13 percentage point gap between the actual Hispanic share of the general population and the share of the vaccinated population, reports The New York Times, although that gap is slowly closing.

The panelists each have their area of relevant expertise.

Polis address “vaccine equity plans and how his office is working to reach out to folks in the Latinx community, specifically a lot of the monolingual Spanish speakers who will be the primary audience for the panel tonight,” said Ames.

Garcia will focus on the access aspect of the vaccines.

Entities involved in the event include: AILA Colorado Chapter; Albuja Law; Amigos de Mexico; Aurora Public Schools; Colorado Association for School-Based Health Care; Enlaces Familiares y Comunitarios; The Latino Chamber of Commerce; The Denver Lions Club; Ecuatorianos en Colorado; Fundacion de Colombianos en Colorado; Latino Research & Policy Center, Colorado School of Public Health; Mi Casa Peru Colorado; Raices Brewing Company; Rocky Mountain Welcome Center; Tri-County Health Department; and Venezuela Denver.

Click here to access the Spanish-only Zoom panel.