Breaking News
More () »

Outreach underway to prepare Hispanic community for COVID vaccine

From educating Spanish speakers about testing, to Q&A's on the vaccine, a statewide effort is in the works to make sure Latinos are ready to get the shot.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Outreach is underway to help vaccinate members of South Carolina's Latino population.

From educating our Hispanic communities about testing, to Q&A's on the vaccine, a statewide effort is in the works to make sure Latinos are ready to get the shot when it's their turn.

PASOs, for example, is one of a handful of statewide organizations dedicated to sharing coronavirus information in Spanish.

RELATED: Campaign provides PPE to SC Hispanic community

RELATED: Nueva campaña entrega PPE a la comunidad Hispana de SC

"We have been supporting DHEC with the communications to our Hispanic communities," said Agner Muñoz, the Midlands Coordinator with PASOs. "Making sure they are talking our same language."

PASOs works with health organizations to host Facebook lives for Spanish speakers to answer any questions about the vaccine.

"[They ask about] secondary effects of the vaccines," explained Muñoz. "What will happen if they don't get the second shot? which vaccine is better than the other one and what's the difference?"

PASOs also helps Spanish speakers navigate the vaccination process. 

"It's a little bit complicated to go inside a website, open their account, make the appointment," he explained. "It's a little bit confusing. That process has been very hard for our people."

DHEC is also translating their latest information for Spanish speakers as well.

In a statement, the agency tells News 19:

"We have a Minority Affairs Specialist and bilingual public health officials who work closely with Latino community partners like PASOS and others around the state.

DHEC officials have taken part in more than 80 public speaking opportunities since November that have been specifically focused on building trust in the COVID-19 vaccine, and our bilingual staff take part in regular interviews."

Spanish language platforms with which DHEC has partnered include La Isla, La Jefa, Universal Latin News, Va Que Va, PASOs, La Raza, Latinx Today, Fortaleza Cristiana and the Mexican Consulate.

Muñoz says a large portion of the Hispanic population is set to be eligible for the vaccine under Phase 1B and 1C, which includes frontline essential workers.

"For sure in the next phases, they will need our support," he added. "We have to stop the spread of the disease and we have to get the vaccine. That's the best way to do it."

The coronavirus vaccine is available to anyone, regardless of legal status.

Before You Leave, Check This Out