The Organization for Chinese Americans said the community has struggled quietly through the pandemic.By Bryant Reed

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When it comes to tracking down a COVID-19 vaccine, it’s been tough for everyone.

But people in some groups are finding it’s been especially difficult for the Pittsburgh-area Asian community.

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The Organization for Chinese Americans is a hub for Asians in the area. It’s a community that’s sticking together to find a vaccine and still fighting harassment.

“When we think about the hardships and barriers that are set up for us,” said Marian Lien, the president of the OCA, “it does feel quite unfair, I must say.”

Lien said her community has struggled quietly through the pandemic.

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“What I am seeing is my community in hiding, particularly our elderly,” said Lien.

Lien said the community has been harassed, mocked and degraded. And the language barrier many in the community have is making it harder for them to navigate finding and scheduling a vaccine appointment.

“It is very hard for us to figure out where we fit in this,” said Lien. “As English second-language learners and speakers, when it comes to the elderly, to ask them to be able to navigate the system to get an appointment for these vaccines is ludicrous, I’m sorry to say it. So in this sort of way, I would have to say that we feel trapped now.”

Lien said the Asian community is currently toward the bottom of the list of ethnic groups who are getting vaccinated. But Lien said it’s not for fear of the vaccine, rather simply not having help where it’s needed.

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As the vaccine is slowly but surely rolled out to communities, Lien says her full focus is on helping her community get vaccinated. In order to do that though, it will take help from allies.