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'Viva La Vacuna' Artist Wins Contest Motivating Latino Youth To Get Vaccinated

DENVER (CBS4)- It's a message that's clear.

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"Viva la vacuna because most of the time we say 'Viva Mexico,' and since I'm Mexican, I mixed my culture with the saying," said Monserrat Diaz, a junior at Jefferson High School.

There are now posters with the saying that means "Long live the vaccine" created by Diaz at 18 bus stops around the Denver metro area. Diaz won an art contest geared towards motivating Latino youth to get vaccinated. Diaz's piece was inspired by the World War II Rosie the Riveter campaign.

"In my family, a lot of people don't believe in vaccinations, and I was like 'I think I can make something to spread that around,'" said Diaz.

The art contest was spearheaded by Servicios De La Raza and Caring for Colorado Foundation. Servicios De La Raza has worked throughout the pandemic to vaccinate and test as many people as possible. Colorado Latinos still have one of the lowest vaccination rates in the state. Many of the state's cases were also driven by the younger population, which is why Servicios De La Raza's campaign is targeting this group.

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"We continue to keep that same momentum to use the arts to convey a message that is essential to keep our people alive and safe," said Jenny Santos, a victim advocate at Servicios. "It's important that our young people understand first of all the impact of a COVID vaccination and their lives, but above all to be able to keep grandma alive."

Friday the state's seven-day positivity rate has climbed over 5% and the seven-day average of cases reported is also climbing. With cases rising again, health officials are urging vigilance through vaccination.

"Vaccination continues to be the best way for Coloradans to protect themselves and their loved ones against COVID-19," said Diana Herrero, with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

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Diaz hopes her art relays that message and motivates people to get the shot.

"The vaccination is safe, and if you get it vaccinated then you're helping a lot more than just wearing a mask," Diaz said.

The posters will stay up until July. Over 20 students from the state entered the contest.

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