Interpreters Unlimited Helps Linguists Get Vaccinated
By: Interpreters Unlimited
Linguists work in medical settings, including Emergency, ICU, and COVID-19 Departments, face-to-face with caregivers and patients, interpreting in their native language to deliver critical care. From emergency room situations with immune compromised individuals to court matters, educational settings, health and human services etc, interpreters are relied on by limited to Non-English speaking and Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing individuals on a daily basis.
IU has provided contracted linguists with a letter stating this as well as supplied them with supporting documentation from the California Department of Public Health further establishing their status as essential medical workers, helping to qualify them to receive the vaccine. Within the first couple of days of sending the letter out to linguists, many have been vaccinated and others have been scheduled for vaccination. "We want to make every effort that we can to provide safety and comfort to linguists and the public on and off the job. We are happy to do our part, to do whatever we can to help." remarked IU Vice President Shamus Sayed.
A healthcare interpreter stated, "As an interpreter still currently making visits to medical sites to perform in-person interpretation under the current pandemic, I feel somewhat overlooked if not left out by the authorities regarding the COVID-19 vaccination."
Beyond medical settings, some interpreters feel that certain courts lack proper screening, safety protocols and mask enforcement. In court, interpreters are in close contact with many people consistently throughout the workday. They deal with inmates through prison visits and in courts, and prisons have struggled to keep COVID-19 under control. Getting linguists vaccinated further ensures a safer environment and there has been a great response to the proactivity of IU.
With the use of video remote interpretation (https://interpretersunlimited.com/