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Awardees of Vaccine Equity Grant initiative announced

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Mayor's Office

A total of $1.5 million has been distributed to 11 organizations working to increase vaccine access and awareness in communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mayor Kim Janey, the Boston Public Health Commission and the Office of Health and Human Services today announced the awardees of the Vaccine Equity Grant Initiative, which was launched in March to ensure equitable availability to the COVID-19 vaccine. A total of $1.5 million has been distributed to 11 organizations working to increase vaccine access and awareness in communities disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“As we continue to recover from COVID-19, it’s critical that we are intentional about our efforts to support Bostonians disproportionately impacted by the pandemic,” said Mayor Janey. “I am proud to award this funding to community-based organizations committed to expanding access to and awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine. Thank you for your partnership in helping our most vulnerable communities.”

Applicants were charged with developing strategies to enhance and ensure equitable vaccine access for specific communities, neighborhoods and groups experiencing higher rates of COVID-19 positivity or to target outreach for communities facing barriers in obtaining the vaccine. These include Black/African American, Latinx, Asian, Indigenious, and immigrant communities; persons with disabilities; individuals over the age of 65; and the neighborhoods of East Boston, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, Roslindale and Chinatown, where positivity rates have consistently been higher and vaccination rates have been lower than the citywide average. 

As of April 13, 2021, 168,145 individuals who are 16 years of age or older have been fully vaccinated in the City of Boston. 47 percent of fully vaccinated Bostonians are people of color. 16,498 Asian/Pacific Islander residents are fully vaccinated; 31,243 Black residents are fully vaccinated; 19,073 Latinx residents are fully vaccinated; and 214 American Indian/Alaskan Native residents are fully vaccinated. In comparison, 81,844 White residents are fully vaccinated. For more information on vaccination rates, visit here.

Grantees awarded have created strategies to engage the community in four ways. Access and awareness strategies include:

Direct, in-person outreach: This will target populations and scheduling individuals for vaccine appointments.

Public awareness efforts: This will target specific populations or neighborhoods to build confidence in vaccines and their effectiveness.

Wrap around supports: This will help to create equitable access to vaccines appointments through methods including transportation support, interpretation services, companion programs, dedicated staff to get residents into vaccine appointments. 

Direct clinic support: This will include expanded staffing, outreach or on-site services to support access to vaccines people, including access during non-traditional hours or located at non-traditional locations.

The grantees of the Vaccine Equity Grant Initiative are: 

Entity Name Purpose
Tufts Medical Center To increase vaccine awareness and access for Chinatown Asian immigrants and Asian Americans, in partnerships with Chinese Progressive Association, Asian Community Development Corp and Boston Chinatown Neighborhood Center.

Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center

To support Vaccine Equity for Haitian and East African Communities, in partnership with Somali Development Center, Eritrean Community Center and Haitian American Public Health Initiatives. 
East Boston Neighborhood Health Center To support the Community Health Center and Community-Based Organization Collaboration vaccine administration in underserved populations, including Black, Latinx, and people 65 years and under in East Boston and Roxbury. via South End Community Health Center.
GOTVax To expand public awareness and help vaccinate Black, Latinx, Asian and low income Boston residents in East Boston, Chinatown, Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roslindale.
Islamic Society of Boston To support culturally competent public education, direct outreach and wraparound support to increase vaccine access for immigrants, and Black/African Americans in Roxbury and Dorchester.
Refugee and Immigrant Assistance Center To increase vaccination confidence and uptake among immigrant and refugee residents in Roxbury, Dorchester, Mattapan, Hyde Park, and Roslindale.
Four Corners Main Streets To organize “Safety Goes A Long Way Campaign,” a community mobilization campaign to educate, register and vaccinate Four Corners residents.
Greater Boston Latino Network To launch a community-based multilingual campaign, “Vaccination Sin Barreras/ Vaccines Without Barriers,” support Latinx families experiencing pandemic hardship, and coordinate outreach for mobile vaccination efforts with the City.
Boston Medical Center To support Vaccine Equity Initiative in partnership with YMCA for  Mattapan, Dorchester, Hyde Park, Roslindale, and Roxbury.
Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition For mobilization efforts in Dorchester and Mattapan to educate, pre-schedule and do on-site registration vaccination of Boston residents of color.
Greater Boston Nazarene Compassionate Center To register Mattapan residents to get vaccinated and host clinics in partnership with the Mattapan Community Health Center.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Boston has prioritized access to COVID-19 testing and vaccination for communities most impacted. The current community positivity rate is 4.0 percent for the week of April 9-15, 2021, with the neighborhoods of East Boston, Dorchester, South Boston, and Roslindale experiencing the highest rates. Since the beginning of the pandemic, 24 percent of known cases have been among Black/African American residents, 30 percent of known cases have been among Hispanic/Latinx residents, and 6 percent of known cases have been among Asian/Pacific Islander residents. For more information on COVID-19 positivity, visit the Boston Public Health Commission website.