Translation Can Eliminate Inequalities in U.S. Covid-19 Vaccinations

Learn how drugstores and other retail healthcare providers can close the growing ‘vaccination gap’ within minority communities.

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March 08, 2021


Over 2 million Covid-19 vaccinations are now administered in the U.S. every day. Unfortunately, studies suggest that residents with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) remain vastly underserved by local governments and health organizations.

This is where retail pharmacies, clinics and other vaccination administrators can make a major impact in 2021.

By providing digital and in-store information in patients’ preferred languages, retailers can accelerate vaccinations and create positive, longstanding patient relationships.

The Need is Real, and Now

Drugstores and clinics are uniquely positioned to leverage translation to effectively vaccinate LEP patients—and create loyal customers along the way. Language plays a major role in the vaccination gap between English-fluent and LEP residents.

Localizing key content such as websites and patient portals, online scheduling tools, SMS and email content and more can help eliminate these obstacles. Here’s why:

Language Barriers…

  • Consistently decrease access to primary and preventive care (such as vaccinations)
  • Impair patient comprehension
  • Decrease patient adherence
  • Diminish patient satisfaction

Inability to Read = Reduced Health Quality

Nearly half of U.S. residents with LEP report low health literacy, compared to 14% of English speakers. The most impacted LEP populations include:

  • Chinese: 68.3%
  • Latinos: 45.3%
  • Koreans: 35.6%
  • Vietnamese: 29.7%

Health literacy is the ability to to engage in complex disease management and self-care.

10% of Whites vs. 3% of Hispanics

As of mid-February 2021, Whites were over three times more likely to have been vaccinated than Hispanics.

Native-Language Content is Key

Pharmacies & Clinics Win with Translation

Translated Content Saves Lives

When LEP patients use translated websites or online portals to manage prescriptions:

  • Prescription adherence significantly improves
  • Healthcare disparities decrease

Translated Content Improves Patient/Pharmacy Relationships

When pharmacies offer in-language experiences, LEP patients report:

  • Overall satisfaction with their pharmacies’ communication skills
  • Satisfaction with the pharmacies’ cultural sensitivity
  • This cultural rapport was important to LEP patients

Translated Content Gives a Competitive Edge

Given the choice between buying similar products from two companies:

  • 76% of consumers will choose the one with information in their preferred language
  • For those with the lowest English fluency, this preference rises to 89%

Seventy-five percent reward brands with repeat purchases if customer care is in their languages.

Forty percent of LEP consumers never buy from websites that aren’t in their preferred languages.

Close-Up: Healthcare & U.S. Hispanics

  • 18%: Percentage of U.S. population that is Hispanic
  • 75%: Percentage of Hispanics who speak Spanish at home
  • $1.3 trillion: Buying power of Hispanics
  • $10 billion: Amount Hispanics spend on health, wellness, prescription drugs and over-the-counter products
  • 80%: Percentage of Spanish-dominant speakers who seek Spanish content online
  • 62%: Bilinguals who seek Spanish content at least half the time they’re online

(You can learn more about Hispanics and healthcare in this infographic.)

Need for Translated Content is Rising

Post-pandemic preference for translated content is accelerating due to digital transformation, and the move of consumers to digital channels.

Long-Term Benefits of Translation

B2C companies that deliver top-notch translated digital experiences will build strong brand loyalty, and emerge stronger, post Covid-19.


This is a real, history-defining opportunity for your company to create loyal customers among LEP patients by translating its online vaccine information and scheduling tools.

Contact us if you’d like to learn how we can help your organization translate its content digital and in-store content for these residents.

Last updated on March 08, 2021
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