City holds vaccination clinic for deaf, hard hearing communities in Hunting Park

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The Esperanza Center in the city's Hunting Park section focused on vaccinating those who can't hear.

What a relief Gina Procopio of South Philadelphia said it was.

Only, she spoke with her hands and with the help of an interpreter.

"It's easy. You get here quickly. There were no problems gaining access to everything. Interpreters are ready," she said.

Procopio is deaf, and so are her brother and son, who were inside getting vaccines.

"My son just turned 16. He was a little nervous about coming through, especially with COVID...Now I think he feels a little more comfortable," said Procopio.

The event was organized Saturday with the help of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

"We want the deaf community to be a part of the community. They should have access like everyone else," said Karen Leslie-Henry of Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

But the Esperanza Center is also fully prepared to help those who speak all kinds of languages.

When you walk in, interpreters are waiting to assist. They also have information printed out in all kinds of different texts.

Action News spoke with people from all over the area who took advantage, like Jorge Lluck from Reading.

"We didn't have the opportunity there, so we were walking by here, and we took the chance," said Lluck.

Officials with FEMA say they have the capacity to vaccinate 1,000 people a day at the Esperanza Center, and they're ready to help those from all walks of life.

"Our goal is to make this as accessible as possible to everyone," said Valerie Amato with FEMA.
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