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Why are more Latinos dying from the coronavirus?

Latinos make up 40% of the population in Texas but nearly half of the coronavirus deaths. We spoke to an expert who explained some of the reasons why.

SAN ANTONIO — The coronavirus is hitting one group of people especially hard. More Latinos in Texas are dying from COVID at an alarming rate.

According to UT Health San Antonio less than 10 percent of Latinos in Texas have been vaccinated. That is a very low number, and one you don't want to have that low, when the number of cases and deaths continue to rise.

"Right off the bat social scientists and researchers know that poverty lack of healthcare the type of job situation for many Latinos contributes to this," said Dr. Rosalie Aguilar, the National Project Coordinator of Salud America with UT Health San Antonio. 

But that is just one of many contributing factors. 

"A lot of Latinos are in high contact jobs. This might be in the food sector in retail or even healthcare, and despite having these jobs on the front lines Latinos are not often getting the vaccine just yet," Dr. Aguilar added.

The CDC says nationally black and Hispanic people are about four times as likely to be hospitalized with COVID-19. Here in Texas Latinos make up roughly half of all COVID-19 deaths, but are only 40 percent of the population. Lifestyle and where people live both play a big role in how Latinos get the virus. 

"Also having unstable housing and difficulties in having access to healthy foods," Dr. Aguilar said.

Getting the right information in the right hands is of the utmost importance to helping Latinos protect themselves better.

"We need to make sure the information that individuals are receiving is accurate unbiased and we need to be constantly providing public health guidance," Dr. Aguilar said.

For more information about COVID-19 and more specifically the disease in Latinos, check out Salud America's website here.

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