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Getting back to ‘Normal’ Closer Than Ever; Please Get the Vaccine, National Hispanic Health Foundation Advisor Urges

By Dr. Diana Torres-Burgos, MD, MPH

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I am the Hispanic Health Advisor for the National Hispanic Health Foundation and have seen first-hand the disproportionate toll that COVID-19 has taken on communities of color, where health disparities are greatest.

The pandemic has made an indelible impression on the Hispanic community, where those 50 years and older face among the highest risks from the coronavirus. With COVID-19 vaccines becoming more widely available, the prospect of returning to normal is seemingly closer than ever. As New York is gradually resuming a sense of normalcy, we have an even greater imperative to keep ourselves and our families safe and healthy.

As a public health and health care professional and caregiver to three seniors in their 80s, I have profound confidence in the safety and efficacy of these vaccines. I encourage you to get the free COVID-19 vaccine to protect yourself, your children, your grandchildren – and your community.

Vaccinations have made a significant contribution to global public health. In particular, the COVID-19 vaccines represent an enormous triumph for us in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. They are extremely effective at preventing hospitalizations and death from COVID-19 and variants, and they decrease the chance of spreading the virus to others.

The FDA, the National Hispanic Medical Association, Hispanic Federation, and UnidosUS all consider the vaccine safe and effective. Every New Yorker 12 and older is eligible, and AARP can help you and your community get information you can trust about how and where to get the vaccine where you live. AARP fought to make sure COVID-19 vaccines are free for all Americans - and to ensure homebound New Yorkers can get a vaccine in their home if they want one.

I trust the safety and effectiveness of these vaccines. Get protected – I urge you to do your research so you can make an informed decision about getting vaccinated. You can find more information at aarp.org/nyvaccine.

- Dr. Diana Torres-Burgos, MD, MPH is the Hispanic Health Advisor for the National Hispanic Health Foundation and NYC Chapter Lead for the National Hispanic Medical Association.

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