COVID-19 Vaccine Assistance Hotline Available for Spanish Speakers
Spanish-speaking members of the community now have a new resource available to help book vaccine appointments as the result of a partnership with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health (MCDPH) and Arizona’s 2–1–1 hotline. Known as the Promotores program, people may call 2–1–1 then 2–7–1 to book COVID-19 vaccine appointments for themselves, a relative, friend, co-worker, or neighbor or simply call to get information about COVID-19 with the help of a Spanish-speaking promotor.
“This hotline is a much-needed resource in our community,” said Marcy Flanagan, executive director of MCDPH. “The ability for people to call one number to access a live, Spanish-speaking operator who can assist with vaccine appointments is vital to ensuring equitable access to the COVID-19 vaccine.”
MCDPH contracted with 2–1–1 to set up a call center with dozens of staff members dedicated to the Promotores program. In its first ten days of operation and without advertisement, the program received 1,160 calls and booked 648 appointments. Over half of callers requested assistance with setting up appointments. The rest of the callers connected to operators for vaccine information and assistance with locating available vaccine in their area.
“We are proud to partner our bilingual (English and Spanish) 2–1–1 Arizona Information and Referral Service program with Maricopa County Department of Public Health’s efforts to assist the public in making appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. ‘Promotores de salud’ in Spanish — known as ‘community health workers’ in English — are a longstanding, traditional, and trusted part of the Hispanic community. Simply dial 2–1–1 to connect with promotores who are ready to assist callers in both English and Spanish,” said Justin Chase, President and CEO of Crisis Response Network, which oversees 2–1–1 Arizona.
Data show that, as of April 14, about 9% of Maricopa County residents who have been vaccinated identify as Hispanic or Latino, which is much lower than the 31% of the population they represent. To promote equitable distribution of vaccine across the county, MCDPH has partnered with pharmacies, private providers, health centers, and more to serve as ongoing vaccination locations. Additionally, pop-up events are organized in areas where residents may have barriers to accessing vaccine, such as transportation, language, or other needs.
In Arizona, anyone over the age of 16 years is eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Emergency Use Authorizations, only the Pfizer vaccine has been approved for 16- and 17-year-olds, while all three FDA-authorized vaccines are authorized for use in people age 18 and over. COVID-19 vaccines in Arizona are offered with no out-of-pocket cost, regardless of health insurance status.
Until enough people have been vaccinated, Arizonans are still encouraged to continue proven prevention strategies, such as wearing a mask, avoiding crowds, and staying home and getting tested if they are experiencing COVID-like symptoms.
For the most up-to date information on COVID-19 vaccines, including answers to frequently asked questions and COVID-19 vaccine locations in Maricopa County, please visit our Spanish webpage and social media channels OR at www.maricopa.gov/COVID19Vaccine or www.Maricopa.gov/VacunaCOVID19.