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Leaders develop strategies to improve mattapan vaccination coverage

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Coronavirus “Despite the breakthrough cases and increase, our best protection saw the best protection for ourselves and our loved ones.” Marie-Manet Jules -Salanom (cq), 75, gets her first Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Nurse practitioner Cassandra Fleurent (cq), along with Legacy Care Group Boston, will provide doses at the Nazaren Church in Mattapan. (Photo by Pat Greenhouse / Globe Staff)

Mattapan has had the lowest immunization rates in Boston’s neighborhood in recent weeks, but community leaders are gathering to find ways to fill that gap.

As of July 15, the immunization rate for Mattapan was 45.4%, which is below the city target of 50% in each region. That’s why the Boston Health and Welfare team held a community meeting on Wednesday to effectively contact and develop strategies on how to encourage people to get vaccinated. vaccination.

“Surprisingly low”: How did Mattapan reach Boston’s lowest COVID-19 vaccination rate? Featured case? What you need to know about recent COVID-19 trends in Massachusetts.

Authorities have linked lower vaccination rates to racial and demographic data, pointing out concerns and distrust among color communities. Throughout the city, vaccination rates are lower for Latino-American and black residents than for white and Asia-Pacific islanders, with Mattapan accounting for about 75% of the population being black.

At the meeting, HHS Chief Martinez said the overall neighborhood immunization rate was 45.4%, while the rate among black residents was 40%. Mattapan is also estimated to be the region with the lowest immunization rates between the ages of 12 and 24, about 40% compared to 50% of the city as a whole, he said.

“We know that inequality still exists within the black and Latino communities throughout the city … but we are making progress and filling some of those gaps. I know there is, “said Martinez. “In Mattapan, it is true that less than 40% of black people are still vaccinated, which is lower than the average for the entire black city. [residents] just now. “

Nurse practitioner Cassandra Fleurent (cq), along with Legacy Care Group Boston, will deliver a second shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to women in the Haitian Creole community at the Nazareth Church in Mattapan. – (Photo by Pat Greenhouse / Globe staff)

Guale Valdez, CEO of Mattapan Community Health Center, shared many of the steps he has taken to send vaccination messages, from ads on Haiti radio stations to PSAs on social media.

“We are trying to attack all areas of Mattapan with the realization that messaging needs to be tailored to a particular group,” he said. “One message doesn’t work. It’s about getting people to reach you, not size.”

Dr. Geraldé Gabo, founder and director of the Institute for Immigration and Family Services in Mattapan, has many ideas on how to encourage vaccination, including early morning and late night hours, always-on clinics, and fun social events. I shared it. Gabeau and others have also advocated recruiting and training young people to have these conversations with other young people and share their messages on social media.

“”[We need to be] Meet people where they are, “she said. “This square is one of the busiest places in Mattapan and is a beautiful square. We need to think about how to turn this square into a real clinic there every day for at least a couple of weeks. Because it’s the key, people know that they can find something when they walk every day. “

Rev. Dufort Furrisant, the voice executive minister of the Tabernacle Church in Haiti, which makes up the majority of Mattapan, reiterates the need for consistency and provides the resources for the church that are routinely sought to support its efforts. Was advocated.

“Multiple [sites] Mattapan will really be rewarded. We need to work collaboratively, not just one, two or three, “he said. “We need a city that can help us secure parking, so we can organize targeted parking. [event] For people to join us. “

Mayor Kim Janny praised the community organizations working in the field and said there was more work to be done.

“COVID is still here and may be with us indefinitely,” she said. “Our best protection has seen breakthrough cases and increases, but the best protection for ourselves and our loved ones is the vaccine.”

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