“There are still people who have questions about the safety of the vaccine, and there’s a lot of misinformation out there, particularly in communities of color,” said María González Albuixech, vaccine equity coordinator at the Boston-based nonprofit Health Care for All. “We’re trying reach those people one at a time.”
She said the focus is on 20 communities — including Lawrence, Haverhill and Methuen — where racial and ethnic gaps are greatest.
She said fear also persists among immigrant communities that getting vaccinated will compromise their citizenship status.
Massachusetts was one of the earliest and hardest hit states in the nation during the pandemic, with more than 670,000 COVID-19 infections and 17,667 deaths.
A report by a state panel found that Black and Latino residents suffered worst, mostly as a result of deeply-rooted inequities.
The report by the Legislature’s Health Equity Task Force cited unequal access to resources and limited “educational, social, political and economic opportunities” for minorities as reasons.
A Kaiser Family Foundation report found more than one-third of the COVID-19 cases reported in Massachusetts afflicted Black and Hispanic people, who represent just 19% of the state’s population.
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