The Baker Administration announced a $4.7 million effort to support its vaccine equity initiative announced last week, which focuses on reducing barriers to vaccination in the 20 hardest-hit communities in the Commonwealth.
The Administration will work with Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG) and Health Care for All (HCFA) to best leverage these funds.
The initiative will support and coordinate with local leaders and community- and faith-based organizations to strengthen existing efforts in these cities and towns. These efforts will specifically focus on communities of color, homebound seniors, disabled individuals and other hard-to-reach populations.
ASG and HCFA will provide hyperlocal, population-specific communication resources as well as hiring local residents and working with local organizations with cultural and linguistic competencies to reach disparately impacted populations in each priority municipality. ASG specializes in grassroots mobilization, partnering with local leaders, community organizations, and media partners to develop community-based solutions. As a subcontractor, HCFA will provide high-touch support for priority communities, including direct service support, community organizing, education, and outreach.
This work will complement the Commonwealth’s $2.5 million public awareness campaign, “Trust the Facts, Get the Vax,” adapting the campaign’s messaging for specific communities. The initiative will focus on the 20 municipalities with the greatest COVID-19 case burden, taking into account social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on people of color. These communities are Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield and Worcester. This work will be coordinated with targeted opportunities for increased vaccine access through existing and new locations, including pop up sites and mobile clinics.
Meanwhile, a coalition of organizations, including MHAC partners at the Mass. Public Health Association, is pushing the Governor to go further in addressing vaccine equity with a list of asks and is circulating a sign-on letter to be sent to the Governor’s office.