Superheroes In the Fight Against COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us just how heroic our health care workers are, but the El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center took this notion a step further. 

Recognizing the complexities around gaining people’s trust in the vaccines and in communicating the importance of getting vaccinated, the El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center — which serves the largely Spanish-speaking communities of San Bernardino County in Southern California — has taken a unique route to promoting COVID-19 vaccination in the local community.   

With support from the CDC Foundation, the El Sol community health workers—promotores in Spanish—have created a vaccine education campaign centered around an animated public health superhero known as “Captain Empath,” or "Capitán Compasión".  

Series of comic and activity book covers feature Captain Empath

“Being part of this effort has been an experience I will never forget,” said Chavez.

The campaign—which includes activity books, a comic strip, and a local theater production—follows the adventures of Captain Empath as he takes on COVID-19 while also stressing the importance of getting vaccinated.  Promotor Natanael Chavez plays the role of Captain Empath, and all the supporting characters are based on real-life El Sol promotores.

Read more about El Sol’s vaccination campaign


Federal funding for this project is supported through cooperative agreement 1 NH23IP922652-01-00 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) totaling $25,660,048 with 100 percent funding from CDC/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC/HHS, or the U.S. Government

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