BOSTON – Dr. Atyia Martin of the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition, Eva Millona of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and Carlene Pavlos of the Massachusetts Public Health Association released the following statement today:
“We were pleased to hear today from Governor Baker and CIC Health about efforts to provide vaccination access for residents who live in the vicinity of the Reggie Lewis Center vaccination site in Roxbury. We appreciate the efforts of all partners involved. But state data makes one thing clear: the Baker Administration is simply not getting the job done.
“The most recent state data shows that White residents have received 15 times the number of vaccine doses as Latinx residents and 13 times more than Black residents – after a year in which Latinx and Black residents have suffered and died at rates far higher than White residents. These numbers have not budged in the last three weeks. Given these numbers, our state’s strategy must change, and it must change now.
“The good news is we know how to turn these numbers around. Three weeks ago, Black, Latinx, and immigrant leaders and allies in the Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition issued 5 demands to the Governor that provide a gameplan for doing this. Since that time, not one penny has been awarded to trusted community organizations to lead outreach and engagement efforts in communities of color. These resources are needed on the ground immediately to support the grassroots organizations rooted in communities and which have been on the front lines of this pandemic for 12 months. We also need the Governor to follow through on his promise made in December to allocate an additional 20% of doses for the hardest hit communities.
“We appreciate that Governor Baker has held press conferences in Mattapan, Lawrence, and Roxbury in recent weeks. Now we need the resources and the action to back up the words.”