Every person deserves the opportunity to access and receive vaccination against Covid-19. Across the region, researchers and community groups have come together to center communities affected by low vaccination rates in the Houston region, address disparities in access to healthcare, and advance an equitable approach to vaccination access.
Vital to this process has been a process of active listen to members of our community who are most impacted by Covid and those who have historically had limited access to healthcare. Our focus has prioritized the experiences of those living in predominantly Black and Latinx neighborhoods where vaccination rates are low, refugee & immigrant communities, as well as people from these communities in low-income households, young adults, and people whose primary language is Spanish.
Safer Together: Vaccination Access for All is designed to identify, coordinate, support, and implement strategies that promote public health and equitable access to vaccination against Covid-19 in the greater Houston region. From late April to July of 2021, Houston in Action co-hosted and facilitated seven listening sessions with community members engaged and recruited by the following partner organizations working for equitable access to vaccination against Covid-19 in the Houston region:
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Listening session participants shared a variety of motivators, hesitations, hurdles and other concerns that were present in their experience accessing and receiving the Covid-19 vaccination. Conversations also included discussion around news sources and media literacy, rumors, and misinformation.
Listening sessions were co-hosted with partnering and member groups, organizations with deep roots in our communities and neighborhoods of focus. Sessions were facilitated by Houston in Action team members; two in Spanish and five in English. Sessions were conducted with the following goals in mind:
Co-hosting organizations were granted $50 payments per session participant and recruiter to be paid to each. Groups were granted $500 for co-hosting. Each session included from seven to 20 participants. In total, nearly 70 residents of the greater Houston area participated in seven listening sessions.
We are endlessly grateful to all those who participated and shared their community expertise, personal stories, and offer this report as a platform for their messages.
From our partner organization: In order to better understand the core attitudinal determinants of vaccine hesitancy among this crucial population, Young Invincibles convened a series of listening sessions between April and June of 2021.