Lack of targeted outreach, translated materials leaves Latino community behind as Pa. struggles with vaccine rollout

An illustration depicts the COVID-19 era.

An illustration depicts the COVID-19 era. (Dan Nott/Spotlight PA)

This story originally appeared on Spotlight PA.

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In the weeks since Pennsylvania began its coronavirus vaccine rollout, the Wolf administration has stood by its localized, do-it-yourself system for finding and booking appointments, despite widespread frustration among residents.

“The relationship that folks have with their provider or with their pharmacists is what was best suited to actually administer the vaccine,” acting Health Secretary Alison Beam said in January. “And so we are allowing those providers and those pharmacists to be able to use their scheduling systems.”

But the state’s patchwork approach has left particularly at-risk residents and communities at a tremendous disadvantage. Older Pennsylvanians, who are supposed to be among the first in line to get the vaccine, are struggling with clunky and disjointed online sign-ups and phone numbers that get them nowhere, while those who are more tech-savvy j