May 23, 2024
COVID-19 Vaccination

Parity in COVID-19 Vaccination Rates: A Shocking Discovery Among Undocumented Latinx Patients in ER Care

In an unexpected turn of events, a recent study published in JAMA Network Open revealed that undocumented Latinx patients, who sought medical attention in the emergency room (ER) during the COVID-19 pandemic, had the same rate of vaccination against the virus as U.S. citizens.

The findings, led by Dr. Jesus R. Torres, an emergency medicine physician at UCLA Health, were surprising, given the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on the Latinx community in terms of infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities.

Torres and his team aimed to investigate the vaccination status of undocumented individuals, as they are often overlooked in existing research, despite making up approximately 3% of the U.S. population, according to the Pew Research Center. Torres explained that the ER is one of the few places where undocumented immigrants can access medical care.

Between September 2, 2021, and March 31, 2022, the researchers surveyed 306 ER patients regarding their citizenship status and vaccination history. The group consisted of adult men, women, and individuals from Latinx, Black, white, and other racial backgrounds.

The study uncovered that undocumented Latinx patients were more likely to have previously contracted COVID-19. However, they exhibited the same rate of vaccination uptake as other groups in the study.

Torres expressed his surprise, stating, “Given the higher rates of infection, hospitalizations, and deaths within the Latinx community, we had anticipated lower vaccination rates.”

From a public health standpoint, it is crucial to identify disadvantaged groups for research, policy recommendations, resource allocation, and targeted vaccine uptake campaigns.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research.
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it.