|MIT Department: Sloan
Faculty Mentor: Prof. Catherine Tucker
Undergraduate Institution: Brown University
Hometown: Lima, Peru
My name is Valerie Aguilar Dellisanti and I’m a first-gen rising junior at Brown University majoring in Computer Science – Economics & International and Public Affairs. I grew up in a very diverse environment; I was born and raised in Lima, Peru in an Italian Peruvian family with Amazonian and Afro-Peruvian roots and went to a German school. My undergraduate experience is focused on the intersection of technology, finance, economic development and Indigenous Affairs. I enjoy dancing, dogs, horses, eating, talking about politics and meeting new people.
The Failure of Government to target Hispanics through Online COVID-19 Vaccination Campaigns
Valerie Aguilar Dellisanti, Catherine Tucker
Department of Economics and Computer Science, Brown University
MIT Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Latinos have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, e.g. Hispanics are 4.1 times more likely to be hospitalized from COVID-19 than their non-Hispanic-white counterparts. This study measures the role of social media on addressing Hispanics across the United States for government-sponsored immunization campaigns. We used data from Facebook’s Ads Library, analyzing publicity by government agencies, emphasizing the Spanish-to-English ad ratios and comparing it to the Hispanic and Spanish speaking population in different states. The time frame was between February 1 and July 15 of this year. Our results show that out of all the active state-sponsored vaccination Facebook ads, only 6.7% are in Spanish. Additionally, four out of the five states with the largest Hispanic population -California, Texas, Florida, New York and Arizona- have concerning proportions when measuring the Spanish-to-English ad ratio. An example is Arizona, a state with 31% Hispanics and 20% Spanish-speakers. However, 16% of ads were in Spanish, but currently, zero of those are active. Moreover, the single Spanish long-lasting ad specified a residency requirement. It is our hope that through this project, we can raise awareness and highlight the disparities affecting the Hispanic population regarding immunization rates in the United States.