UCI Health Family Center doctor stresses importance of childhood vaccinations before returning to school

When it comes to health care access, mounting data shows communities of color are severely impacted due to health inequity and disparities. SoCal medical expert discusses some solutions and what families should do before kids return to school.
There is so much evidence to show how communities of color are severely impacted due to health inequity and disparities when it comes to access and care.

So, what are some solutions to putting in more resources to help?

Dr. Jose Mayorga, executive director for UCI Health Family Center, joined ABC7 via Skype to discuss.

How does COVID-19 affect different communities in different ways?
"One of the things that we have to remember is that these community members have been essential workers for some time. They've been working in grocery stores, they've been doing food service industries, as well as janitorial services. And so, at UCI Family Health Center it's been very important for us to continue to manage the population we serve, which predominantly is Latino," said Dr. Mayorga.
What's the solution? Are community-based clinics part of the answer?
"Community health centers have been in existence for decades. And one of the key components that we're able to share with the community is -- we will see you, even if you have challenges with insurance or lack thereof. We deliver care in a high quality manner, as well as a very culturally sensitive way," said Dr. Mayorga.

Is it important that everyone have a primary care doctor?
"It is absolutely imperative, more now than ever, that people do have primary care established. We take care of acute illnesses, such as COVID-19, chronic diseases, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and then, most importantly we do preventative care," said Dr. Mayorga. "One of the things that really is one of the most disheartening things for me is I've noticed at our clinics - our children are not being brought in for their preventive health care maintenance. In other words, they're not getting their vaccines. So if we want to make sure our children go back safely, of course we have to deal with COVID-19, but let's not forget the other more critical infections out there that we have vaccines for, such as measles, whooping cough and pneumonia."

Watch the full interview in video above

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