ST. LOUIS ( -- Members of the Hispanic community are targeting members of their own community in an effort to make the COVID-19 vaccination process smoother and simpler to understand.

One event, hosted by the City of Florissant, Dellwood Pharmacy and the Hispanic Leaders Group of Greater St. Louis will take place at the JFK Community Center in Florissant.

I say the percentage is higher that want to get vaccinated," said Tony Maldonado, Chairman of the Hispanic Leaders Group of St. Louis. "But we still have some people that are afraid there's going to be a chip in the vaccine and the government is going to follow them."

Maldonado said language barriers present the largest hurdle for many members of the Hispanic community looking to get their vaccine. At Saturday's event in Florissant, volunteers on hand will be bilingual and able to guide people through every step of the process.

Monique Merritt, an ESL teacher, is volunteering at another vaccine event at St Charles Borromeo on Saturday. It also aims to target members of the Hispanic community who have yet to receive their vaccine.

"I can't imagine anything more terrifying as far as a language barrier when it comes to your medical condition," said Merritt. "You want to know, you want the doctor to know, the nurse to know exactly what's going on so you have that confidence."

Maldonado said vaccine hesitancy within his community stems largely from misinformation found on the internet, along with conversations many people have with family members in native countries. 

"You've got different news sources and connotations with that, plus anything they see on the internet that can be a source of bad information," he said.

The event at the JFK community center is open to walk-ins. You can also call 314-220-1382.

If you're interested in the St. Charles clinic at St. Charles Borromeo, you can call to make an appointment. You're asked to call 636-699-3646, 314-497-5406, 314-482-9343, 314-323-4615 to schedule.

Copyright 2021 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved

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