Vaccine Equity Initiative

HCFA plays a critical role in vaccine equity work through the Vaccine Equity Initiative (VEI), a project designed to increase COVID-19 vaccination rates while dispelling misinformation across Massachusetts.

VEI Overview

HCFA’s VEI work is conducted as a multifaceted project coordinated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. This campaign supports municipalities hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic. HCFA works in partnership with groups such as Archipelago Strategies Group and Health Resources in Action to implement a multilingual and multicultural educational campaign tailored to the needs of each community and municipality.

HCFA’s Outreach Approach

HCFA implements a dual-pronged approach to tackling COVID-19 through the VEI. On one hand, HCFA implements a major door-to-door canvass operation. On the other hand, HCFA identifies and collaborates with dozens of local, culturally and linguistically diverse community- and faith-based organizations (CBOs & FBOs). Both strategies result in success during this type of consumer-facing outreach initiative.

CBO & FBO Partnerships

One major component of the VEI has been HCFA’s partnerships with dozens of local, culturally and linguistically diverse community- and faith-based organizations. HCFA partners with these groups to host dozens of town halls, vaccination clinics and educational events all geared toward helping community residents get the Covid-19 vaccine and booster.

Canvassing Operation

The other major component of the campaign has been HCFA’s engagement in a door-to-door canvass operation where HCFA worked with over 60 canvassers recruited from the communities in which the campaign was operating. Canvassers provided HelpLine information to individuals at the door who did not have health insurance coverage, as well as to those seeking information about in-home vaccination or local vaccination clinics. In 2021’s iteration of the VEI, HCFA’s door-to-door effort reached over 500,000 doors and canvassers had over 130,000 conversations.

Who were HCFA’s Community Based- and Faith Based-Organization Partners?

African Community Economic Development of New England (ACEDONE)

Authentic Caribbean Foundation

Boston Center for Independent Living (BCIL)

Brazilian American Center (BRACE)

Brockton Workers Alliance

Cape Verdean Association of Brockton

Catholic Charities of Worcester County

Community Economic Development Center

Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores

Everett Haitian Community Center

Family Service Association of Fall River

Greater Framingham Community Church

Greater Malden Asian American Community Coalition

Immigrants’ Assistance Center

The Learning Center for the Deaf

Massachusetts Association for the Blind & Visually Impaired

Making Opportunity Count

Motivation Church of Randolph

NewVue Communities

Pelham Lifelong Learning Center

Quincy Asian Resources, Inc.

SER-Jobs For Progress Fall River

Spanish American Center

True Alliance Center

Vietnamese American Initiative for Development (VietAID)

Anecdotes From The Field

SER-Jobs For Progress spoke with a young woman who said it was her mom’s birthday. Her mom’s birthday request was that her daughter get vaccinated against COVID-19. The young woman arrived at the vaccine clinic in Fall River prepared to get vaccinated because we all know we can’t say “no” to mom on her

BRACE spoke with multiple families who did not speak English. One woman said that she and her family had been vaccinated while living in a shelter in California. However, nobody giving those vaccinations spoke Portuguese, their native language. Having only received one dose, she wondered if she had received J&J or needed to start over with Pfizer/Moderna. BRACE, with help from HCFA’s Bilingual Outreach Coordinator Luby O’Connor, was able to help this woman fill out the correct form to confirm which vaccine she received.

True Alliance Center spoke with a woman in Boston who was very skeptical about the vaccine and openly opposed to it. She had been praying to God to remove the virus and was urging other Christians not to take the vaccine. After months of speaking with Pastor Keke and other members of the True Alliance Center, she was finally convinced to get the shot. She brought her daughter and planned on bringing other Christian followers with her to future clinics.

Videos From The Field

Learn more about the Vaccine Equity Initiative (short version)

See how the Vaccine Equity Initiative is driven by the same communities it serves (long version)

Hear about how the HelpLine helped Leslie get the care she needed

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