By Cynthia Silva - NBC News
By Cynthia Silva - NBC News
A prominent Latino cartoonist is using his art to encourage the population to get vaccinated.
Lalo Alcaraz, author of the first nationally syndicated Latino political comic strip,
, is creating pieces for CovidLatino.org to help spread information about COVID-19 vaccines among Latino communities, especially in the southwest of the country.
"It is something that corresponds to me and in what I believe," he explained, "the indecision about vaccines in our community, especially among farmers, constitutes a crisis."
One of Lalo Alcaraz's cartoons for CovidLatino.org compares a vaccinated Latino farm worker with an unvaccinated one. Lalo Alcaraz / Andrews McMeel Syndication
Alcaraz, who has been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning for the past two years and has collaborated on the well-known animated film
, told NBC News that he is excited about the project.
One of his vignettes for the campaign against the pandemic recreates the traditional game of the lottery to show the benefits of getting vaccinated, from being able to travel to dating.
Another vignette shows what a Latino farm worker looks like when vaccinated while holding a box of cabbages, versus when he is not immunized and carries a heavy box with the virus inside.
This cartoon recreates the traditional Mexican lottery game to show the benefits of getting vaccinated.Lalo Alcaraz / Andrews McMeel Syndication
The campaign was started by Gilberto López, a professor at the School of Cross-Border Studies at Arizona State University, whose goal was to create a bilingual website along with art to end doubts about vaccines among Latinos.
The educator hopes that the page, which has animated videos in English and Spanish, will dispel the myths about the coronavirus that have spread among the Latino community.
Lack of reliable information, as well as misinformation and misinformation in English and Spanish, have contributed to questions about the vaccine.
"All the information that we put out there we hope it resonates and begins to change people's ideas and knowledge about the vaccine," Lopez told The Arizona Republic.
The pandemic has disproportionately affected the nation's Latinos, who account for nearly 30% of COVID-19 cases and nearly 20% of deaths.
California, which has the largest Latino population in the United States, has seen an increase in infections due to the spread of the delta variant, mainly among the unvaccinated.
A survey conducted in May revealed that citizens still have questions about whether vaccines are free or whether personal information needs to be disclosed to be immunized.
Cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz Jerod Harris / Getty
"Although vaccines are available to all adults, regardless of insurance or immigration status, many Hispanic adults who have been vaccinated say they were asked for their health insurance information or a government-issued ID," he told NBC Latino. Samantha Artiga, director of the Kaiser Family Foundation's health policy and racial equity program.
This situation, he noted, can make it difficult for those who are uninsured or lack legal immigration status to get vaccinated.
Alcaraz, who has worked as a cultural consultant and writer for
the Nickelodeon channel's
, highlighted the importance of speaking with older adults, who are especially susceptible to suffering from a severe form of COVID-19 that causes death, as well as with younger adults who are still hesitant to get vaccinated.
The cartoonist shared how his 91-year-old mother-in-law got immunized: "If she can get vaccinated, I don't see why a big and strong peasant can't."