Massachusetts gets $62.5M from CDC to improve vaccine uptake

Coronavirus Local Impact

A nurse fills a syringe with a dose of the Johnson & Johnson’s one-dose COVID-19 vaccine at the Vaxmobile, at the Uniondale Hempstead Senior Center, Wednesday, March 31, 2021, in Uniondale, N.Y. The Vaxmobile, is a COVID-19 mobile vaccination unit, sponsored by a partnership between Mount Sinai South Nassau and Town of Hempstead to bring the one-dose vaccine directly to hard-hit communities in the area. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts will receive nearly $62.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to support the state’s vaccination program and an improve equity in the distribution of vaccines.

The funding is part of a $3 billion effort by the CDC to bolster vaccine distribution and access efforts in 64 jurisdictions around the country. Seventy-five percent of the money must be used on programs designed to increase access, acceptance and uptake in racial and ethnic minority communities, and 60 percent must support local health departments, community-based organizations and community health centers.

“We are doing everything we can to expand access to vaccinations,” CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said in a statement. “Millions of Americans are getting vaccinated every day, but we need to ensure that we are reaching those in the communities hit hardest by this pandemic. This investment will support state and local health departments and community-based organizations as they work on the frontlines to increase vaccine access, acceptance, and uptake.”

The CDC said one example of how the money could be spent is to train trusted members of the community to go door-to-door to raise awareness about COVID-19 vaccines and help residents schedule appointments. Through last week, 23.5 percent of Black residents in Massachusetts and 16.1 percent of Hispanic residents had received at least a first dose of vaccines, compared to 10.6 percent and 8.9 percent respectively nationwide.

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