New Hotline Provides Vaccine Information To Spanish Speakers In Arizona
Maricopa County Public Health is partnering with the community information service, 2-1-1, to offer a new Spanish-language hotline with information about COVID-19 vaccines.
“We want to provide this option for as many people as possible to be able to inform you from somebody in your community with good information to make sure you feel comfortable taking the next steps for your and your family’s health,” said TJ Reed, director of social determinants of health and community impact with 2-1-1.
Latinos are vaccinated at a lower rate than any other racial or ethnic group in Maricopa County. Only about 13% of Maricopa County Latinos over the age of 15 have had a shot, compared with more than 41% of the general population, according to Maricopa County Public Health data.
The Spanish-language service is part of an effort to address disparities in vaccine access. The county health department contracted with 2-1-1 to hire dozens of local, bilingual operators to help callers book appointments and answer questions about COVID-19 vaccines.
"From all the feedback we received, people were interested in getting to talk to a person," Reed said. “There’s a lot of internet sites, there’s a lot of places I can look up, but I don’t get to ask my questions in the way that I want and get an answer and have just a conversation with somebody."
Reed said, since launching at the end of March, the Spanish-language answering service has helped more than 800 people book vaccine appointments. To reach the service, callers can dial 2-1-1, then 2-7-1.