LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors Chair Hilda L. Solis released the following statement after the Board voted in favor of her motion to ensure that County-operated points of dispensing (PODs) have trained staff present who are fluent in the threshold languages of the communities in which they are providing vaccines.
“Throughout the pandemic, we have learned that to achieve true equity in any initiative, we must meet community residents where they are. In the case of LA County’s vaccination efforts, at my direction, the Los Angeles Department of Public Health has deployed mobile vaccine units to hard-to-reach and vulnerable residents in the County. Additionally, my office continues to expand partnerships with community-based organizations to bring vaccines directly to residents – whether it is at home or in trusted spaces.
However, there is still more work to be done. Over the course of the last few months as vaccination efforts have increased, we are seeing additional barriers that we must address if we want to truly achieve a healthy LA County. We have tackled the digital divide by working with partners who manage call centers and help with in-person enrollments for vaccine appointments. We have tacked the issue of transportation by meeting seniors and homebound residents at home through mobile clinics. But there is still one crucial element that is barring many residents from getting vaccinated – the language barrier.
For a County as a diverse as Los Angeles, we recognize there are many residents who do not speak English fluently and it is our responsibility to ensure they can receive critical health services like the COVID-19 vaccine. That is why, with my motion, LA County will move toward ensuring that each County POD has at least one translator who is fluent in the threshold languages of the communities in which they are providing vaccines.
By allocating the appropriate resources to provide translation services, we can ensure that each County-operated POD provides a welcoming and smooth process, where residents can comfortably get vaccinated. By eliminating barriers to the vaccine, we can work to make sure no one gets left behind in our efforts to combat the pandemic.”
The passage of this motion directs the County Emergency Operations Center of the Chief Executive Office and the Department of Public Health to work with the Office of Immigrant Affairs in the Department of Consumer & Business Affairs and relevant stakeholders to ensure that the County-operated points of dispensing (PODs) have trained staff present fluent in the threshold languages of the communities in which they are providing services, and to report back in seven (7) days on implementation.
To view the motion, click here.
Kimberly Ortega, Acting Communications Director, (213) 361-6435 or KOrtega@bos.lacounty.gov
Stephany Villaseñor, Communications Deputy, (213) 308-9017 or SVillasenor@bos.lacounty.gov