One year into the pandemic and most Oklahomans are now eligible for the vaccine. However, members of the Spanish speaking community have had a hard time signing up for shots.
Brenda Hernandez has been working overtime to get the Hispanic community vaccinated. While the Spanish portal is a step in that direction, she said it does not solve all the problems.
“There is still that barrier of having access to the technology and of course being able to navigate the technology. It is just a very difficult system to navigate in English so even more so in Spanish,” said Hernandez, the bilingual Oklahoman.
Those who are not proficient with technology can call the Latino Agency or the Guatemalan Consulate.
“Having bilingual volunteers that are there to help these people in our community to understand the process I know it has made things a lot easier,” she said.
Like Dora Hernandez-Maness who volunteers with Integris Health for their vaccine clinics.
“Some of them are still afraid of if things might happen to them if they get the shot so we have to be there. If I cannot explain to them, I get a doctor or nurse that can explain to them and then I translate,” said Hernandez-Maness, the volunteer translator.
She said this is all done on a volunteer basis and encourages bilingual Oklahomans to get out and volunteer.
“I love our Hispanic community because it doesn’t matter what it is, we always come together and volunteer and we are always there to help,” she said.
Those that would like to volunteer to translate can call the Oklahoma State Department of Health or reach out to Dona Hernandez-Maness at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sign up online for a COVID-19 vaccine using the Spanish Portal.
Call the Latino Agency or the Guatemalan Consulate at 405-603-6638 to have them schedule you a COVID-19 vaccine.