Holyoke CDC eyes ways to boost local vaccination rates

Hampden County

HOLYOKE, Mass. (SHNS) – Holyoke trails the state as a whole on vaccinations and the OneHolyoke Community Development Corporation plans to use new funding to take its COVID-19 vaccine education efforts “on the road.”

The OneHolyoke CDC announced Tuesday that it plans to host a series of outdoor and live-streamed events where health care providers will answer any questions people have about the available vaccines.

As of May 19, according to OneHolyoke CDC, 32.6 percent of Holyoke residents are fully vaccinated, compared to 47.2 percent statewide, and 45.3 percent of Holyoke residents had received a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or a full dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, compared to 60.7 percent statewide.

In Hampden County, the CDC said, 25 percent of Hispanic residents have received at least one dose of the vaccine.

OneHolyoke CDC said it had hired staff to give out PPE and educational resources at several Holyoke locations, including door-to-door outreach, and established a website at www.oneholyoke.org/stay-safe-holyoke/ to provide resources for the community and links to find out where to get the vaccine and where to get tested for COVID-19.

The public information campaign will be concentrated on predominantly Hispanic neighborhoods, the CDC said, including the Flats, South Holyoke, Churchill and Downtown, to address the disproportionate impact of the virus among communities of color.

“With the support of our trained diverse staff out in the community referring and sharing experiences with the vaccine, our goal is to increase the number of vaccinated Holyoke residents. We are pivoting our strategies and figuring out creative ways to educate our community to get vaccinated,” said Nayroby Rosa-Soriano, director of community engagement and resident services for OneHolyoke CDC.

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