For Immediate Release:
February 2, 2022
Health Care For All to Launch Multilingual Community Outreach Campaign to Increase Access to Equitable COVID Vaccines in Metrowest
FRAMINGHAM – Health Care For All will launch a direct, multilingual outreach campaign reaching families in Framingham and Milford this week. The goal of this initiative, funded by the Metrowest Health Foundation, is increasing access to COVID-19 vaccines and boosters, as well as promoting vaccine equity in underserved communities.
A team of local canvassers will go door-to-door with important information about the efficacy of the COVID-19 vaccines and where to find vaccination clinics nearby. The team will hold conversations with community members about the need of getting eligible children vaccinated as well as receiving the booster shot, especially during the spread of the highly infectious Omicron variant.
“The goal of this grassroots outreach campaign is to directly engage with communities to provide culturally sensitive, trustworthy information about the benefits of the COVID-19 vaccination and how to get vaccinated,” said Amy Rosenthal, Executive Director of Health Care For All. “We know campaigns of this nature can make a big impact in our communities, and appreciate the support from the MetroWest Health Foundation and our other local partners.”
“We heard loud and clear from local health officials that they needed support on the ground to get more children five and older vaccinated, and eligible individuals connected to the booster shot,” said Martin Cohen, CEO of Metrowest Health Foundation. “We are grateful for our ongoing partnership with Health Care For All, and their willingness to get an outreach team up and running in Framingham and Milford very quickly, in order to help control the spread of the Omicron variant.”
As of January 26th, in Framingham, just 60 percent of 5- to 11-year-old children have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. In Milford, only 51 percent of that group has at least one dose. While recent FDA approval of youth vaccines is growing vaccination rates, these percentages are significantly lower than those of surrounding communities in the Metrowest area, such as Wayland, where 94 percent of children have received at least one dose.
“Last year, Framingham was one of the towns supported by Health Care For All as part of the Vaccine Equity Initiative. We had community-based organizations and canvassers connecting residents to vaccine clinics, and it was very helpful to increase vaccination rates among our more diverse communities,” said Framingham Health Department Director Alexandra DePalo. “We are excited to partner again in order to get more kids vaccinated, and people boosted.”
Data from the prior vaccination campaign showed the efforts helped to increase the rate of vaccination to 84 percent of eligible recipients.
The four members of the outreach team will have informational flyers available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and will be clearly identified as Health Care For All representatives. In addition, they will comply with COVID-19 safety protocols and regulations, as they will wear medical-grade masks and will maintain a safe distance from people at the doors.
“We know that Health Care For All has worked tirelessly over the last two years to raise awareness surrounding COVID-19 safety,” said Jacquelyn Murphy, Director of the Milford Department of Health. “We are thrilled to be working with them this winter in Milford, to help us inform our community about the importance of being fully vaccinated.”
“We are excited about the local partnerships and impact we know we can have by hitting the streets in our communities,” said Margie Rosario, HCFA Canvassing team lead and well-known community leader. “The children in our cities deserve to grow up safely protected from this virus, and we all must do our part in ensuring everyone knows the true facts, safety, and effectiveness of the vaccine.”