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Latino Teens are Deputed as Health Educators in an effort to Influence the Unvaccinated


Alma Gallegos is often stopped by classmates as she walks down the busy hallways of Theodore Roosevelt high school in southeast Fresno. Students often question the 17-year-old senior about covid-19 testing, vaccine safety, or the importance of booster shots.

Alma gained her trustworthiness as an information source through her junior community worker internship. Alma was one of 35 Fresno County residents who were recently trained to talk about how covid vaccines can prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death and to encourage family members, peers and the community to keep up-to-date on their shots, including boosters.

When Alma’s internship drew to a close in October, she and seven teammates assessed their work in a capstone project. Students were proud to be able share information about covid vaccines. Alma convinced her family to get vaccinated, too. She said her relatives, who primarily had received covid information from Spanish-language news, didn’t believe the risks until a close family friend died.

“It makes you want to learn more about it,” Alma said. “My family is all vaccinated now, but we learned the hard way.”

Groups for community health…

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