The Need for Language Services for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Language Services for COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

March 1, 2021

In these trying times when the world is still under the tight grip of the coronavirus pandemic, the provision of excellent language services is critical. Everyone has to understand what they should know about the highly contagious and deadly virus. Now, more than ever, correct information should reach the right audience at the right time.

What are language services?

Language services mean the provision of document translation, interpreting and other related services to individuals, communities, organizations, and corporations. Not every language service provider (LSP) offers similar language services. Some agencies and freelancers handle general translation services, while some companies specialize in one or a few types of translation services.

During emergencies when multilingual languages and speakers are involved, it is critical to seek the help of LSPs. With their help, confusion will be curbed. With the dissemination of the right information in various languages, misinformation and disinformation will be minimized. People can access information in the language they fully understand.

The effects of language access in healthcare

Language access today is vital in healthcare because many countries have immigrants whose knowledge of the local language is not enough to comprehend complex information. In times of crisis, they revert to their mother tongue because it makes them feel safer and more comfortable.

The shared language between healthcare providers and patients enables the gathering of vital patient information. Now that there are already vaccines available from different manufacturers, healthcare providers have to understand how to handle the vaccines.

For example, the vaccines coming from China are distributed to different countries. Therefore, the complete information about the handling and storage requirements, the degree of efficacy of the vaccine, the persons who should receive the vaccine, the side effects, and other related information should be translated into the languages of the countries that will use the product. Close to 20 countries have ordered the vaccines from three manufacturers from China, such as Turkey, Indonesia, Jordan, the Philippines, Algeria, and Ukraine.

China is not known for providing the best translations, based on the translations of user guides and product manuals and instructions. Therefore, it is critical to have professional translators render all the information about the vaccine into at least 20 languages.

Many people still refuse to accept that there is a pandemic. Likewise, many people are apprehensive about getting vaccinated because they lack the right information. As it is, more people are receiving the wrong information from social media and word-of-mouth. This kind of situation makes it more difficult for healthcare workers to convince people to follow health protocols, and now, encourage them to get vaccinated.

Providing information through translated medical materials

In providing the right material on pandemic-related information, concerned parties should use the services of experienced medical translators. They need the right type of expertise to ensure that medical materials are accurately translated. Medical translators understand the local culture, medical terminology, and the nuances of the languages, rendering the translations very apt to the target readers. People’s comprehension levels differ, and medical materials that will be shared between peers will be different from the materials that will be read by the public.

Accuracy matters in patient diagnosis, patient records, prescriptions, and instructions. Precision is vital because one missed or wrong word can put patients’ lives at risk. Healthcare providers have to adapt to international audiences, and since you cannot expect them to speak all the languages of their patients, they have to rely on professional translation services.

Higher demand for professional language services for COVID-19 communications

The public find it difficult to understand the depth and breadth of the effects of the pandemic. But they have the right to receive explanations they can fully understand no matter what language they speak. During the health crisis that is affecting the entire world, the demand for experienced language services providers increases. The translators and interpreters are vital in ensuring that the all COVID-19-related information are available in as many languages as possible.

Various drug manufacturers have developed vaccines against the coronavirus. And they are conducting clinical trials in different countries. These clinical trials have to be shared with peers, international health organizations, countries that accept clinical trials, and other stakeholders.

Professional language services are vital to ensure that patients will receive the right information from properly informed healthcare providers. With the vaccines, the parties concerned should understand the following:

  • Vaccine handling and storage instructions (vaccines from different manufacturers have different cold storage requirements)
  • Dosage forms and information
  • Side effects of the vaccine
  • Precautions and warnings
  • Expiry date of the vaccine
  • Drug interactions and contraindications
  • Frequency of use (the vaccines require two doses, while there are instances when some people will only receive a single dose)

The United States has the highest number of COVID-19 cases. One in five people in the U.S. speaks a language other than English. Therefore, it is crucial to inform and educate these people regarding the COVID-19 vaccine and why they need to get it.

The health organizations in the U.S. recognize that language services (translation and interpreting services) are one of the ways to slow down the spread of the dreaded coronavirus and to keep the deaf and hard of hearing, refugee, and immigrant population safe.

Language access is very important during the ongoing Public Health Emergency program in the United States to protect the people and slow down or prevent the spread of the disease. People should be aware of and understand:

  • Vaccine distribution
  • Contact tracing
  • Treatment of deaf and hard of hearing people, and those with limited English proficiency
  • Available assistance program for people exposed to coronavirus
  • Health information and public health measures

eTranslation Services responds to the higher demand for medical translations

We are aware of the increasing need for professional medical translations today. eTranslation Services works with some of the finest and expert medical translators in the field. They are subject matter experts and native speakers, ensuring that their medical translations are appropriate to the target audiences. Allow us to handle your medical translation requirements now. Please feel free to email us at [email protected] or call us at (800) 882-6058.

 

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