Fall River, New Bedford to receive vaccine help through new outreach program

SE Mass

FALL RIVER, Mass. (WPRI) — The Baker Administration has announced a new focus on getting the COVID-19 vaccine to the state’s hardest-hit areas and allocating more money to help them distribute the doses.

Locally, both New Bedford and Fall River were included in the campaign.

Community health programs praised the announcement, saying it will make it easier to get shots into people’s arms.

Last week, the Fall River Housing Authority transported dozens of elderly residents to a vaccination site.

The Baker Administration announced $1 million will be allocated to the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers to help their efforts in 20 underserved communities. These communities were listed as having the highest daily rates of new coronavirus cases.

Health workers in Brockton and Chelsea say this will really help outreach programs.

“Eighty percent of our workforce works in the service industry. I want them to get the vaccination right away.” Gladys Vega said.

“To be able to provide support for transportation, I think is fantastic.” Maria Celli added.

Although money is one thing, supply is another.

In New Bedford Mayor John Mitchell’s weekly Facebook video post, he said the city gets about 400 doses per week from the state, and they have been taking those to senior living communities, but more is needed.

On Wednesday, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders announced that Massachusetts’ supply of doses from the federal government is set to increase by 29,000, meaning the state will have 139,000 first doses available next week.

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