CARSON, Calif. — Several ethnic and local community groups have banded together to host a pop-up vaccine clinic to reach out to the Filipino and other underserved communities that the coronavirus pandemic has disproportionately impacted.
As part of their Tayo initiative, which provides COVID-19 information to the community, the Filipino Young Leaders Program hopes to inoculate members of the community that have yet to do so.
"Our biggest task is getting people here," said Leezel Tanglao, project director at Tayo, which is the Tagalog word for "us." "We've found that there are a lot of folks that have already been vaccinated. But there is still some hesitancy among some members of the community."
The Filipino American community has been among the hardest hit ethnic groups during the coronavirus pandemic. According to HealthAffairs, Filipinos residing in California accounted for 30% of COVID-19 deaths among the Asian American population despite only accounting for 25% of the state's AAPI population.
More than a third of all nurses who have died from COVID-19 and other related complications were Filipino Americans, despite only making up 4% of all nurses in the U.S., HealthAffairs reported.
Health officials said they still don't know the exact number of deaths in the Filipino community due to some health care agencies' lack of and poor tracking of race/ethnicity data.
Filipinos have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19 due to many members of the community working in the health care profession. Many, Tanglao said, work as doctors, nurses, or caregivers.
"We're literally on the front line, and when they come home to their household, they are not just hit once but multiple times," Tanglao said.
The Filipino Young Leaders Program has teamed up with the city of Carson, the Council of Young Filipinx Americans in Medicine, Mabuhay Credit Union, Filipinx/a/o Community Health Association, and others for the pop-up vaccine clinic.
Though the groups are targeting the Filipino demographic, the vaccine clinic is open for all unvaccinated members of the community ages 12 and up. A parent's permission will be required for those 17 and younger.
The vaccine clinic will offer all three vaccines and run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, June 5, at the Carson Community Center at 801 East Carson St. in Carson. The vaccine shot is free.
"If you haven't gotten vaccinated, it's free," Tanglao said. "It's one little poke, but it's something lifesaving."