Denver nonprofit serving Latino community hosting COVID-19 vaccine drive this weekend

As of Wednesday afternoon, nearly 500 of the 600 available appointments had been booked.
Servicios de la Raza executive director Rudy Gonzales
Posted at 6:48 PM, Jan 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-27 20:48:55-05

DENVER — Nearly 12,000 Coloradans 70 and older could be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of this week, thanks to three mass vaccination events in Denver.

UCHealth plans to vaccinate 10,000 people at Coors Field between Saturday and Sunday. The appointments are invite-only. All of Saturday's appointments were booked, the group said Wednesday morning, and about half of Sunday's available slots remained.

National Jewish Health plans to vaccinate 1,000 people at its campus Saturday. All available slots filled up before noon Wednesday, a spokesperson told Denver7.

And in an effort to improve vaccination rates among the Hispanic and Latino community, nonprofit Servicios de la Raza, with assistance from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and several city and state leaders, is hosting a free drive-up vaccine drive Friday through Sunday.

The goal is to vaccinate 600 people 70 and older, specifically Hispanics and Latinos, against COVID-19.

"The difference is, really, life and death. It is," executive director Rudy Gonzales said.

According to the CDC, Hispanics and Latinos made up more than half of Denver’s adult COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths the first seven months of the pandemic, despite the demographic making up less than a quarter of Denver’s population.

"That is stark in terms of … how we are suffering at a very elevated, elevated risk in this pandemic of not just sickness, but death," Gonzales said.

He believes Hispanic and Latinos are more likely to catch COVID-19 because they are more likely to be on the front lines and in essential work. They also often live with multiple members of their family, so getting people in this group vaccinated is a top priority.

According to state data, Latinos in Colorado make up about 20% of the state's COVID-19 deaths, but only 4% of its Latino population has received the vaccine.

“It is personal, you know, and ... we need to do this. We need to do this for ourselves and our families, our communities and our world, at this point," Gonzales said.

Nearly 500 of the 600 available slots between Friday and Sunday were booked by Wednesday afternoon, he said. Call 720-410-7108 to check for availability.