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Tuesday, April 23, 2024

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Immigration Questions Won’t be Asked for Vaccine, Panel Says

County Encourages Flu Vaccinations

By Vince Conti

TRENTON – The state Department of Health (DOH) Feb. 15 sponsored a webinar panel discussion aimed at “addressing the facts, fears, and myths regarding the Covid vaccine for New Jersey Latinx communities.” 

The panel addressed a unique fear in the Latino community – immigration status. The need to dispel rumors that vaccination information will be shared with immigration authorities is an important step in addressing that fear. Dr. Luis Espina emphasized that questions about immigration status won’t be asked. 

Dr. Marcella Perez, who is a physician at a federally qualified health center, urged Latinos to use these centers, even with the word federal in the name.  

“One half of our Latino patients are undocumented, and we are vaccinating them with no questions of legal status,” she said. 

Dr. Gina Miranda-Diaz, a state health officer, spoke of the need to provide easy-to-understand, accurate information to counter the misinformation from unscientific sites on the internet. She urged stakeholders in the community to get involved in the information dissemination. 

The panel worked to dispel myths related to side effects, while also urging patients to continue taking regular medications, even if they seek to be vaccinated.  

“Please stay on your medications,” Espina urged, noting there are no known interactions. “If you are concerned, speak to the doctor who is prescribing the medications,” he added. 

The video of the panel discussion is available, in English, through the DOH’s website (https://bit.ly/37nPvjL). A Spanish-language webinar is scheduled Feb. 26 (https://bit.ly/3dqgv5M) 

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