LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Health leaders across Nevada say leaders of faith are crucial to getting the word out about vaccine access, and one local pastor is making sure to spread the message every Sunday.
"It's very important for the church to keep our congregation safe," said Rev. Jorge Hernandez, who leads the Latino congregation for Christ Church Episcopal in a diverse community in Las Vegas.
"At the end of the service, I ask, 'Who took the vaccine already?' People raise their hand. I say, 'That's wonderful,'" said Father Jorge, as he is known to members.
"It is the responsibility of every human at this time," Father Jorge said.
The pastor helped members attend the vaccination event at the Rafael Rivera Community Center, organized by Wal-Mart, the Immigrant Home Foundation and Dream Big Nevada, targeting the Latino community. The pastor got vaccinated himself, at the event.
The church has seen numerous tragedies in the pandemic, losing 15 members to COVID-19. That does not include members' relatives in the U.S. and in numerous other countries.
Across Clark County, numerous organizations are working to help Latinos get more access to the vaccine, and increase Spanish messaging.
Hispanics are disproportionately affected by COVID-19. The causes are linked to risks from frontline and hospitality jobs, multigenerational households and challenges accessing healthcare.
As of Wednesday, 17% of Latinos have received the vaccine in Clark County. Latinos trail Asian-Americans and White residents in numbers, mirroring similar trends to African Americans and Native Americans.
"Everyone can do something to stop COVID. Everyone has to do it," Father Jorge said.