In a campaign video released Tuesday called “The Truth: Vaccinations,” Saldana and Del Toro speak with Benicio’s brother, Dr. Gustavo Del Toro — who is chief medical officer at Wyckoff Heights Medical Center in Brooklyn — about the vaccines and engage in discussions about whether the vaccines are effective, the side effects, the vaccination process and deciphering which vaccine is better. They also address conspiracies such as whether the vaccines will change DNA and question whether anyone can still get COVID-19 even after being vaccinated.
Apart from addressing misinformation, the video campaign also aims to provide the Latinx community with cultural content regarding the vaccines and amplify the importance for communities to have access to them. According to Momento Latino, in some cities, Latinos are dying at nearly double the rate of the rest of the population due to coronavirus. Nationwide, roughly 22 percent of Latinx adults know someone who is ill due to coronavirus. As stated on their website, Momento Latino’s health goals are to “gain city/local governments’ commitment to implement universal COVID-19 testing, contact tracing and provide wraparound services to our community”; “create an online, bilingual hub that provides localized information about testing sites, health department updates, and other resources”; and “support the mental health and well-being of all essential workers, especially health care providers, farmworkers and frontline grocery/delivery people.”
Meanwhile, SOMOS Community Care is a network comprising over 2,500 providers in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan and Brooklyn who are working to ensure better health care for Medicaid members.
“We were discussing the concerns that exist right now in Latinx communities, African American communities and other minority groups. The … misleading information around the virus, around vaccination. … Having someone like you provide scientific explanations to our concerns, I think would help our communities make better decisions around the vaccination process,” Saldana says in the video.
At one point, Benicio Del Toro asks whether undocumented immigrants could receive the COVID-19 vaccine, to which Dr. Gustavo Del Toro responds, “The purpose of vaccinating everyone in the country is to protect everyone in this country. There should be no discrimination based on any reason, including immigration status or citizenship.”
The campaign arrives shortly after California expanded vaccine eligibility to all residents 16 and older.
Their campaign video, recorded in both English and Spanish, will be distributed through Momento Latino and SOMOS Community Care networks. The campaign was developed following months of vital research from Momento Latino and SOMOS Community Care about the impacts of COVID-19 on the Latinx community.
Watch the trailer below and find the videos here.