Marion County, cultural groups announce multilingual vaccine registration hotline


FILE – In this April 8, 2021, file photo, a Northwell Health registered nurse fills a syringe with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine at a pop up vaccination site inside the Albanian Islamic Cultural Center in the Staten Island borough of New York. Fewer Americans are reluctant to get a COVID-19 vaccine than just a few months ago, but questions about side effects and how the shots were tested still hold some back, according to a new poll that highlights the challenges at a pivotal moment in the U.S. vaccination campaign. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

INDIANAPOLIS–The City of Indianapolis and Marion County Public Health Department, along with several cultural organizations, announced a second vaccine registration hotline for multilingual residents.

The city said the hotline is part of a continuing strategy to increase the vaccination rates among Indianapolis residents.

The city said Hoosiers can call 317-327-2100 to connect with a fully bilingual volunteer who will assist them to set up their vaccine appointment. The registration hotline will be available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 5.

“Indianapolis is great because of its diversity of ethnicity, culture, and language,” said Mayor Hogsett. “As we emerge from the pandemic, we must make it as convenient as possible for all residents to sign up for their vaccination, regardless of their native language or English proficiency. Through this hotline and other future programming, we will continue to remove barriers to easy vaccine access.”

The multilingual hotline will be available in nine different languages: English, Spanish, Burmese, Arabic, Mandarin, Swahili, Yoruba, Hakhan Chin, and French.

“The end of the pandemic in Indianapolis is within our reach,” said Dr. Virginia Caine, Director and Chief Medical Officer of the Health Department. “It is still critical that we ensure the lifesaving protection of the COVID-19 vaccine reaches traditionally underserved members of our community through efforts like this multi-lingual hotline.”

The State of Indiana expanded COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to include Hoosiers ages 12 and up. Eligible Hoosiers can sign up to receive the vaccine at OurShot.In.Gov or by calling 2-1-1.

More from the Marion County Health Department:

The hotline is a continuing community-oriented effort to increase vaccination rates in traditionally underserved Indianapolis neighborhoods where vaccine hesitancy is more prevalent. Earlier in March, a Spanish registration hotline assisted over more than 800 neighbors getting registered for their vaccine.

The COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in the United States underwent rigorous testing, and months of data demonstrates their safety and high efficacy. The vaccine saves the body from the risk of fighting COVID unprepared by giving the immune system instructions to recognize and kill the virus if exposed. Receiving these vaccines will greatly reduce the risk of serious illness due to the virus. Those with unanswered questions or concerns about the vaccine can call the Health Department vaccine hotline at 317-221-2100 between the hours of 9am and 4pm Monday through Friday.

Those who previously tested positive for COVID-19 are still encouraged by medical professionals to receive the vaccine, as contracting the virus may only provide limited protection. It is important to not skip the second dose if receiving the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines – vaccine-induced protection is much stronger and longer-lasting after the second dose. It is normal to feel some side effects after receiving the vaccine, which can include a fever, chills, tiredness, headache, or aching at the injection site. These side effects are signs that your body is building protection and typically go away in 24-48 hours.

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