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WKYC Studios helps deliver message to Latino community about getting the COVID-19 vaccine

A new public service announcement in English and Spanish targets Northeast Ohio’s Latino community, which has an increased risk of dying from coronavirus.

CLEVELAND — NOTE: See below for Spanish translation
NOTA: Vea abajo para la traducción en español

A new, shareable public service announcement produced by WKYC Studios is helping spread the word about how to access the COVID-19 vaccine to Northeast Ohio’s Latino community, which is one of the local populations most at risk of contracting and dying from the coronavirus.

The PSA, titled “Our Shot/Nuestro Momento” is narrated by 3News Producer Jorge Ramos Pantoja and was scripted by WKYC Studios Producer Roselyn Muñiz. In English and Spanish, it directs viewers to the Ohio Department of Health’s website for vaccination registration, which is gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov

In the 30-second PSA, Selina M. Pagán, president of The Young Latino Network in Cleveland, Pastor Jose Reyes of Iglesia Nueva Vida Cleveland and his wife Vanessa share why they have gotten the shot, what they are most looking forward to now and why they believe others should sign up to get vaccinated.

RELATED: Wolstein Center vaccine clinic treating disproportionately low number of Black, minority patients

Dr. Michelle Biehl, a Cleveland Clinic critical care medicine physician who is Latina, said there is a clear-cut need for this PSA and also for more outreach measures targeting the Latino community.

It’s alarming to see the disproportionately low vaccination rate in Ohio and nationally for people of Latino heritage, Biehl said, “especially because the Hispanic population makes up a good chunk of COVID cases.”

Underscoring the message behind the PSA is new information released from the mass vaccination clinic at Cleveland State University’s Wolstein Center, which shows that as of April 5, fewer than 5% of people getting the shot at the clinic are of Hispanic origin – even though the downtown Cleveland location was selected in order to provide better access for people of color.

The 30-second public service announcement is now airing on WKYC and can be shared by organizations and media outlets targeting the Latino community.

Biehl said she and other medical professionals are working hard to let all of Northeast Ohio know that “whatever is the first vaccine available, you should get it,” and that this PSA is a helpful tool that can inform the Latino community in a culturally competent way. She was pleased to see the PSA’s message delivered in English and Spanish by familiar and trustworthy community leaders. “To build the trust in this community, that’s how we’re going to be able to mitigate this disease and get back to normal life,” she said.  “They need to hear from someone in their community.”

It’s vital, Biehl added, to have Latino educators, clergy, and influencers of all types join with medical professionals “to educate about how important the vaccine is.” 

RELATED: "This vaccine is a blessing;" MetroHealth reaches out to local clergy-leaders to allay fears over the COVID-19 vaccine

Many local Latinos besides those featured in the PSA are doing just that, including Victor Ruiz, executive director of Esperanza, a non-profit organization that assists Latino students to succeed in school through educational resources and programs. Ruiz, who was recently vaccinated, says his message for anyone who is reluctant in getting the vaccine is this: “I would say trust the medical and scientific community.” 

“I got vaccinated for myself, for my family members and for my co-workers,” said Kivin Bauzó, Support Administrator Supervisor at the Cuyahoga County Board of Developmental Disabilities. Kivin also added that he wanted everyone to feel safe around each other again.

Omayra Cornier, a radio announcer at Spanish language radio station LA MEGA CLEVELAND also agrees with that sentiment. She says she will get vaccinated for her children, parents, and community. The first thing she plans on doing after getting vaccinated is visiting her elderly parents in Puerto Rico.

And the first thing retired lawyer José C. Feliciano Sr. is planning to do now that is he is vaccinated is spending time with his grandchildren. Taking this vaccine is beneficial for all of us living in Northeast Ohio, he said.

If you are unsure of where you can get the COVID-19 vaccine near you, visit gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. On the website, you can find out how to register for a vaccination appointment. There is also information on myth busters and answers to frequently asked questions.

Also, 3News has compiled a Vaccine Guide with helpful information at www.wkyc.com/vaccine.

CLEVELAND – Un anuncio de servicio público ha sido lanzado por WKYC Studios con el fin de informar a la comunidad hispana sobre cómo obtener la vacuna del COVID-19. Esto surge dado a que estadísticas demuestran que la comunidad latina tiene un mayor riesgo de contraer el virus y fallecer dado a complicaciones causadas por el mismo.

El anuncio, titulado “Our Shot / Nuestro Momento” es narrado por el productor de 3News Jorge Ramos Pantoja y escrito por la productora de WKYC Studios, Roselyn Muñiz. El comercial que ofrece información tanto en inglés como en español, dirige a la audiencia al sitio web del Departamento de Salud de Ohio gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov donde todo aquel que desee puede registrarse para recibir la vacuna.

Selina M. Pagán, presidenta de ‘The Young Latino Network’ en Cleveland, el pastor José Reyes de la Iglesia Nueva Vida Cleveland y su esposa Vanessa, comparten durante el comercial sus motivos de recibir la vacuna, y razones por las cuales los demás miembros de la comunidad también deberían unirse a los esfuerzos.

La Dra. Michelle Biehl, una Doctora de origines latinos quien trabaja para la Clínica de Cleveland, dice que existe una gran necesidad por anuncios como este.

“Es alarmante ver la tasa de vacunación desproporcionadamente baja en Ohio y a nivel nacional entre personas de decendencia latina”, expresó Biehl a WKYC Studios. Biehl añadió que profesionales en el campo de la salud trabajan arduamente para promover y llevar a cabo los esfuerzos de vacunación.

El anuncio de 30 segundos es transmitido por WKYC y puede ser compartido por organizaciones y medios de comunicación dirigidos a la comunidad latina.

Si desea registrarse para recibir la vacuna del COVID-19, visite la página web gettheshot.coronavirus.ohio.gov. En el enlace puede encontrar el centro de vacunación más cercano a usted y respuestas a preguntas frecuentes.

Además, 3News ha creado una Guía de vacunas con información útil en www.wkyc.com/vaccine