October 29, 2021

New COVID-19 Information Training Supports Bilingual Community Members

Rachel Seymour

Graphic of two people helping another person understand information on a smart phone screen.

In a collaborative effort to increase vaccination rates, the Partnership for Vaccine Confidence team is offering a free training for bilingual and multilingual community members to learn how they can share accurate COVID-19 health information with their language communities and help save lives.

Research shows that friends and family of people who prefer languages other than English are important sources of information during crises and disasters because they are often more trusted than other information sources. With the right support, bilingual and multilingual individuals are ready and willing to be COVID-19 information navigators and share vital health information with their loved ones and communities.

The project team (located in the UW Health Promotion Research Center) and its partners chose to focus on communities experiencing barriers to accessing COVID-19 vaccines, as well as higher infection and death rates, based on data from King and Yakima Counties in Washington state. These communities include Latino, Black, and immigrant multigenerational households with elders and adults working in essential industries.

COVID-19 Information Navigator Training

The training includes specific tips and resources for communicating effectively, better understanding how to find accessible health care services, finding and sharing up-to-date and accurate COVID-19 information, and taking action by advocating for COVID-19 safety in the community.

Following completion of the training, participants will receive continued monthly support and resources.

Students, school staff, community health workers, community organizations, medical interpreters, and/or community advocates, among other key community roles, are encouraged to take the training and become a COVID-19 Information Navigator for their language communities.

Take the Training

The training was developed with the University of Washington’s Northwest Center for Public Health Practice (NWCPHP), which is one of ten regional Public Health Training Centers funded by the Health Resources and Services Administration. The training originally began as a standalone grant within NWCPHP to support bilingual community members who wanted to share health information before COVID-19. It was later incorporated into the Partnership for Vaccine Confidence project at the UW Health Promotion Research Center to support the immediate need to increase vaccination rates for community members who prefer languages other than English.

Collaborating With Community

Surveys with more than 300 public health students and staff at community organizations shaped and guided the training. The project team will continue to work with people who have completed the training and build an ongoing learning community, including providing skill-building resources.

The training is one part of the Partnership for Vaccine Confidence’s work to reach underserved communities within King and Yakima Counties in Washington state.

The UW Health Promotion Research Center is also collaborating with its Community Advisory Board and partners such as Public Health – Seattle & King County and community organizations to increase confidence in COVID-19 vaccines through accurate and easy to understand health information.

The project team is developing toolkits for its partner organizations that can help them share information through their own communication channels, including social media. One toolkit will be for communicating about COVID-19 vaccines through social media, radio scripts, and printable materials. The other will be a workplace wellness toolkit about epidemics from our Connect to Wellness program for employers and business owners.


Funding Information

The COVID-19 Information Navigator Training is made possible thanks to a Nimble Grant from the Pacific Hospital Preservation and Development Authority (PHPSA).

The Partnership for Vaccine Confidence is part of a national effort with U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) known as the Prevention Research Center – Vaccine Confidence Network (PRC-VCN). Thanks to $500,000 in funding from the CDC over the next year, the UW Health Promotion Research Center will contribute to the national vaccination effort through local partnerships. The center is one of 26 member centers in the network, which are also part of the CDC’s Prevention Research Center (PRC) network.

The Partnership for Vaccine Confidence (PaVC) is supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Prevention Research Centers (PRC) network, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $500,000. The contents of this webpage are those of the UW Health Promotion Research Center and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by CDC, HHS, or the U.S. Government.

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