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Translating Vaccine Information Statements

Healthcare providers often need to translate Vaccine Information Statements (VIS) into other languages for patients, staff members, or even for colleagues at healthcare entities overseas. While official Vaccine Information Statements are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in English, having them professionally translated into a patient’s native language can serve multiple purposes. There are legal obligations, for one. Federal law in the United States requires that healthcare staff provide Vaccine Information Statements to a patient, parent, or legal representative before each dose of certain vaccines are administered when the patient is a limited English speaker. Federal law also requires that healthcare facilities that receive funding from the federal government, including Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements, must provide language access, via interpretation and translation services, to individuals with limited English language skills. These legal obligations can be found under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as well as Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act.

Where to Distribute Translated Vaccine Information Statements

Once you translate your Vaccine Information Statement into one or more languages, they can be distributed and made accessible in multiple ways:

Display translated VIS digitally on a monitor

Translated Vaccine Information Statements can be displayed digitally on a computer monitor or other video display in high traffic areas.

Print as a handout

A paper copy of the translated Vaccine Information Statement can be printed and given to patients prior to vaccination.

Print and laminate

Permanent, laminated copies may be given to patients to read prior to vaccination as well as displayed on the wall in offices.

Make available for download as a PDF on your website or app

Patients may read the translated VIS on their phone or other digital device by downloading the pdf file from your website.

Send via Email or Messenger

Send the translated VIS via email or a messenger, or chat with the client on their phone or other digital device.

Additional advice and facts offered by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  • Patients may be given a copy of a VIS in their language during a prior visit, or told how to access it through the internet, so they can read it in advance. These patients must still be offered a copy to read during the immunization visit, as a reminder.
  • Patients must still be offered a copy of the VIS to take away following the vaccination. The patient may decline.

Get Your Vaccine Information Statements Translated

By teaming up with a language service provider staffed by professional translators with backgrounds in healthcare and medicine, you can have confidence that your Vaccine Information Statements are accurately localized. Learn more about Language Link’s translation and interpretation services for healthcare.

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