On March 17, 2021, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the release of federal funds as part of its Vaccine Equity Initiative to increase vaccine trust, acceptance, and administration rates among priority populations. This Initiative focuses on 20 cities and towns with the greatest COVID-19 case burden, considering social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) (Mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-equity-initiative). These cities and towns are Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, and Worcester.
The goal of the MA COVID-19 Community Grants Program is to reduce COVID-19 infections, morbidity, and mortality among Asian, Black, Indigenous, Latinx, and other people of color in our hardest hit cities and towns, as well as to support education and awareness of vaccination efforts in Massachusetts. This program has also extended to include Tribal and Indigenous Peoples Serving Organizations (TIPSO) serving Native Americans, Alaskan Natives, Hawaiian Natives, Pacific Islanders, and Indigenous Peoples throughout the state who experience multiple barriers to vaccine access in support of the Commonwealth’s efforts to vaccinate its residents, while continuing to promote practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This program is administered and managed by Health Resources in Action (HRiA), a non-profit public health organization that helps people live healthier lives and create healthy communities through prevention, health promotion, policy and research.
Grantee organizations demonstrate deep engagement with the communities, community need, and readiness to quickly implement their proposed project and have been engaging in culturally and linguistically appropriate community outreach, communication, and education. Strategies have included engaging youth peer leaders, trusted community leaders, and those with shared lived experience to promote messages. Social and other media have been used to amplify the reach of messaging and communications.
Other COVID-19 Resources:
Please visit the following links for available funding resources for essential needs in response to COVID-19:
- Philanthropy Massachusetts: https://www.philanthropyma.org/grantmakers-philanthropic-advisors/resources/disaster-and-emergency-relief-resources
- Massachusetts Nonprofit Network: http://massnonprofitnet.org/nonprofit-resources/coronavirus-massachusetts-nonprofits/
- Public Health Institute of Western MA COVID-19 Data Dashboard: https://www.publichealthwm.org/covid-19/data
Commonwealth of Massachusetts resources:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Initiative: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-equity-initiative
- MA COVID-19 Vaccination Data and Updates: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-vaccination-data-and-updates
- Comprehensive MA information about COVID, including frequently-asked questions and multilingual materials: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine
- Vaccine for People Under 18: https://www.mass.gov/vaccinesforYOUth
- Trust the Facts Get the Vax: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/trust-the-facts-get-the-vax
- Information for vaccines and boosters: https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine
- Testing and resources for residents and municipalities for communities at high risk: Mass.gov/StopCOVID19
- Testing program in communities with higher COVID-19 positive test rates: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/stop-the-spread
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