Today was a major milestone in Chelsea’s fight to end the public health and economic devastation caused by the pandemic. In collaboration with East Boston Neighborhood Health Center and the City of Chelsea, La Colaborativa opened our doors at 318 Broadway for the first time as a COVID-19 vaccination site. On day one, 100 residents aged 75+ received their first dose of the vaccination.
This was a hard-earned win for our largely Latinx and immigrant community, which has been disproportionately affected by COVID – experiencing higher rates of infection, worse health outcomes, and profound economic loss.
While we celebrate increased access to community-based vaccination sites like ours today, our work is far from over.
Vaccines for All in Hard-Hit Communities
A Community Impact Survey found that 1 out of 3 Chelsea residents owe rent and are at risk for eviction and 8 out of 10 residents rely on food assistance. These are La Colaborativa’s core members – people who cannot socially distance or quarantine amid overcrowded housing; people who cannot work from home or stop working to avoid exposure; and people who have to wait in long, crowded food lines as a matter of survival.
Our people desperately need to return to work to secure their wellbeing, but they can’t do that safely until vaccinated. Statewide vaccination plans should prioritize immediately:
- Workers who cannot work from home
- People who cannot isolate
- People living in multigenerational households and caring for elders
- People risking exposure by relying on food pantries and other public services for survival
COVID exposed the many inequities that impact our members’ lives daily. Communities like ours have paid an immense price during the pandemic – burying their loved ones, losing their jobs and homes, and enduring the trauma of sickness, poverty, isolation, and fear. It’s time to end the suffering and we can’t do that without a vaccination plan that understands and addresses existing inequities.