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Economist Luisa Blanco Receives Grant to Pilot miVacuna in Los Angeles County

Luisa Blanco

La Opinion front page newspaper article

Dr. Luisa Blanco, Pepperdine School of Public Policy professor of public policy, and Dr. Yelba Castellon, medical doctor and researcher from the University of California, Los Angeles, are two Latinas who came together to design miVacunaLA. This project was one of three winners that received a $100,000 grant from the VaxUp Innovation Challenge hosted by the Innovation Studio at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.

“We created this program because we believed that it is important to empower Latino parents with knowledge as they make the decision to vaccinate their children. We wanted to give parents access to information about COVID-19 vaccines from a trusted source of information given that there is so much mis-information. Our program is easy and simple and can be accessed via mobile phone, which helps us reaching hard to reach groups,” said Blanco.

miVacunaLA is an evidence-based digital outreach program designed to inform and empower Latinx families when making the decision to vaccinate their children for COVID-19. Blanco's and Castellon's study will look at measuring vaccine behaviors of unvaccinated Latino families in Los Angeles County.

The plan is to pilot of mivacunaLA program and enroll 600 Latinx parents with at least one unvaccinated child in a four-week program where they will receive reliable information via text messages, as well as train 20 Latinx parent ambassadors with at least one vaccinated child to recruit non-vaccinated families and share credible vaccine information in their communities.

MiVacuna was recently featured on the cover of La Opinion