Petition to Massachusetts Governor and 7 others
Get more vaccines into the Greater New Bedford area, prioritize underserved populations
Deloris Joseph New Bedford, MA, United States
We are concerned that vaccination access and allocation is not meeting the needs or even getting to the most underserved area residents. We appreciate the outstanding work of the South Coast COVID vaccination partners (Southcoast Health, GNB Community Health Center, Seven Hills, Community Health Departments, and others) in our region, but it is clear to us that the effort is insufficient to meet the needs of the most underserved people. We applaud the work that has been done and want to support and enhance that existing infrastructure with a more targeted outreach effort.
To Bring Vaccine Equity to Our Community We Request:
- Increased Allocation of the Vaccine by 30% with prioritized allocation favoring underserved people of color. We want an explanation as to how Federal and State, Private sites and allocation decisions are made.
- Prioritization of Underserved Populations – In order to address racial/ethnic disparities we would like additional funding to support enhanced outreach and education for people of color, linguistic minorities (regardless of status), and other underserved populations.
- Additional Neighborhood Based Sites – We want additional vaccines to be provided in neighborhood venues beyond the pharmacy program in places such as Churches, Community Centers, Housing Developments, and other trusted locations.
- Organized Outreach Efforts – Utilize the funding that has been allocated by Governor Baker to allow Health Care For All (HCFA) to train local community partners and organizations to go door to door in underserved neighborhoods to identify and register people who are interested in getting the vaccine. We believe that the Stop the Spread Campaign has been successful and should be continued beyond the March 31st cutoff date.
- Increased Access to Transportation – We seek additional funding resources to provide transportation services as needed to underserved populations to get to their vaccine appointments.
- Need for Vaccine Accountability – We seek transparency and accountability for entities that are bending access rules. We would like to know what steps and actions will be taken once these cases are discovered and how to prevent this from happening in the future.
Governor Baker has listed New Bedford as one of the 20 cities most effected by COVID-19 yet vaccines are not being distributed in the area in an equitable manner. Statistics show that the populations most affected by this virus are the BIPOC (Black Indigenous People of Color). We are seeing a lack of equity when it comes to vaccine distribution. According to recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native people have a COVID-19 hospitalization rate about 5.3 times that of non-Hispanic white people. COVID-19 hospitalization rates among non-Hispanic Black people and Hispanic or Latino people were both about 4.7 times the rate of non-Hispanic white people. With racial equity on the forefront of everyone’s mind, what is happening in the Greater New Bedford area in regards to the vaccine distribution is not acceptable.
Please urge Governor Baker to send more vaccines and education to our area and prioritize our underserved and BIPOC populations.
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