Public health agencies are funding a New Mexico program to train and pay local hairstylists working in privately owned salons to promote COVID-19 and flu vaccines to their clients.

The “Chair Care” program trains these “trusted messengers” to target New Mexico’s Hispanic, Black, Native American and conservative populations who have been shown to have the lowest vaccine uptake and highest “vaccine hesitancy.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the New Mexico Department of Public Health (NMDOH) are funding the program, which is run by Presbyterian Community Health and Better Together New Mexico, an NMDOH initiative that connects local organizations to do vaccine outreach throughout the state.

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