BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration announced the release of $27.4 million in federal funds to increase trust, vaccine acceptance, and administration rates as part of the Administration’s Vaccine Equity Initiative and to meet the needs of priority populations.
Recognizing equity as a critical component of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, the Department of Public Health (DPH) is working closely with 20 hardest hit communities in Massachusetts as they identify their specific community needs, further building on existing support.
The City of Framingham is one of those 20 hardest hit communities.
These federal funds from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) build upon current and past efforts supporting vaccination in these communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and includes partnerships with municipalities, local boards of health, community- and faith-based organizations, community health centers and others to reduce barriers to vaccination.
These funds also will provide direct vaccine administration to populations that are not effectively reached through existing vaccine supply channels.
These federal funds include:
- $10.6 million to provide direct assistance with vaccine access, including appointment registration assistance, transportation to vaccination clinics, mobility assistance, medical interpretation, and other supports. These services will be delivered through contracted community-based organizations (CBOs), community health centers (CHCs), and behavioral health providers.
- $5.1 million to invest in community health centers through the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to expand vaccination capacity at community health centers, including Community Health Worker Ambassadors.
- $4.7 million to support municipalities and local boards of health through direct funding of the 20 equity municipalities for coordination and support for vaccine clinics and acceptance.
- $4 million to help tailor community outreach and education through direct funding of local community-based and faith-based organizations in the 20 equity municipalities.
- $3 million for direct vaccine administration in community settings by funding qualified organizations to directly administer vaccination to groups not effectively reached by other mechanisms.
These activities will build on DPH-supported initiatives already in progress, such as outreach and collaboration with community and faith-based organizations, increased connections and investment in Community Health Centers, and grassroots neighborhood outreach by teams of trained staff and residents led by Archipelago Strategies Group (ASG), a minority-owned business, and Health Care For All (HCFA).
Framingham was assigned a community liaison by the state.
The Spicer administration created and has convened a committee of more than two dozen multiple times but, a month after Gov. Baker’s announcement the City of Framingham has released no plans. No press conference and no press release.
SOURCE asked the City & Spicer administration several questions and the news media outlet was told to watch the Mayor’s community hour yesterday. No specifics to the vaccine rollout for underserved nd vulnerable populations was announced.
The Baker-Polito administration, in a press release, said “activities already underway include the DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador Program, which has assisted with dozens of local meetings to answer questions about vaccine, wide dissemination and amplification of the state’s “Trust the Facts. Get the Vax.” multilingual public awareness campaign, and the DPH Community Liaisons who are meeting weekly with representatives from the communities to identify and lift barriers to vaccine access and support community-based solutions.”
The Administration’s Vaccine Equity Initiative focuses on 20 cities and towns with the greatest COVID-19 case burden, taking into account social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC).
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.