Indiana health officials offer online COVID-19 vaccine registration in Spanish

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The Indiana State Department of Health is doing all it can to help Spanish-speaking Hoosiers get their shots.

To help make the process easier, they’re now offering people the chance to schedule their COVID-19 vaccines online in Spanish.

“It’s just so important to have this registration available in Spanish and to also help people register for it because it might save their lives,” said Mariana Lopez-Owens, director of development, marketing and communication at La Plaza.

They will need to visit the state’s vaccine registration site and click on the top right-hand corner for Spanish. Then they’ll answer questions and choose a location for their vaccination.

“From the looks of it, it looks pretty easy to read just like the English version,” Lopez-Owens said.

Organizations including La Plaza say this is a step in the right direction. Reports show Latinos are being disproportionately affected by the virus.

“It’s really, really important especially because our demographic, the Latino population here in the state has been especially hit hard with COVID,” Lopez-Owens said.

“We need to eliminate barriers, and this is a great step that we look for in the community to see more steps,” said Marlene Dotson, president & CEO of the Indiana Latino Institute.

La Plaza adds it is working to help Latinos schedule their appointments, but with the new changes, the process will be a lot easier.

“We needed to make sure that they understood everything,” Lopez-Owens said. “So just the thought of having to register thousands and thousands of individuals over the phone was overwhelming.”

While online registration is now easier, some Latinos still face obstacles that include access to the internet and transportation to vaccination locations.

“There’s still a lot more to do,” Dotson said. “There are individuals who do not speak Spanish, not only have the constraints of the language but also technology and that’s all across Indiana, in rural areas other cities, and other counties.”