Part of Colorado's vaccine website for Spanish speakers displayed months-old information about eligibility

Colorado vaccine website for Spanish speakers, outdated information
Posted at 5:52 PM, Apr 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-03 00:30:15-04

DENVER -- Colorado began vaccinating people 16 and older on Friday, April 2, but you wouldn't know that if you read parts of the state's Spanish-language COVID-19 website.

As of early Friday afternoon, one of the state's web pages, which shows Spanish speakers where they can get vaccinated, hadn't been updated in several months.

It still displayed information about people 70 and older being eligible for the vaccine and that people 65 and older would be eligible beginning Feb. 8.

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The section of the state's COVID-19 vaccine website in Spanish titled "Where can I get vaccinated?" still showed non-English speakers - as of early Friday afternoon - information about how Coloradans 70 and up could get vaccinated and told Coloradans 65 and up, a group which has been able to get the vaccine since Feb. 8, that they would soon be eligible for the vaccine. As of 5 p.m. Friday, this section had been updated.

Additionally, it displayed outdated information about where eligible people can get vaccinated.

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A sub-section of the state's COVID-19 vaccine website in Spanish titled "Vaccine providers for people aged 70+" still showed non-English speakers - as of early Friday afternoon - incomplete information about where Coloradans could get vaccinated across the state. Only a reference to Safeway pharmacies was made in the Spanish version of the page, whereas the English version showed Walmart, Sam’s Club, Cardinal, City Market/King Soopers and Costco as other options. As of 5 p.m. Friday, this section had been updated.

"It is unfortunate," Dr. Ricardo Gonzalez-Fisher said. "Sadly, this will contribute in some way to more health inequities."

The Latino organization he works with, Servicios de la Raza, began vaccinating its community members at the end of January. That's around the same time part of the state's website for Spanish speakers was last updated.

"Our people sometimes distrust the information that comes from the government, and this will only increase this distrust," Dr. Gonzalez-Fisher said.

But it's not just Spanish speakers getting left behind. Some informational flyers for languages like Vietnamese and Somali were last updated at the beginning of March.

"There must be best practices for having a multilingual website," Dr. Gonzalez-Fisher said. "Whatever you're putting in one language has to be in the other language at the same time, so maybe it'll take a little bit of money or maybe just a little bit more supervision."

EN ESPAÑOL: La vacuna contra el Covid-19 ya está disponible para el público en general en Colorado. Te decimos cómo registrarte.

Gov. Jared Polis, who spent part of Friday touring parts of Colorado with one of the state's new mobile vaccination buses designed to help underserved communities like Latinos have better access to the vaccine, was unaware his state's website was displaying outdated information for Spanish speakers.

"I go on Spanish radio regularly. We have a Spanish, Facebook and Twitter account, so we get a lot of information out. You know, the other side of this bus is actually in Spanish, so we'll make sure that gets updated right away," he said.

Other parts of the state's COVID-19 website for Spanish speakers were updated as recently as April 1, which may make the website even more confusing for some.

Dr. Gonzalez-Fisher recommends Spanish speakers call the state's vaccine hotline at 1-877-268-2926, the Mexican Consulate or watch their local TV stations for the latest information.

Several hours after Denver7 spoke with Gov. Polis and contacted the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for comment, a statement was posted Friday afternoon at the top of the page to indicate the state had moved into Phase 2 and that more information was coming.