People of color have disproportionately received fewer doses than white residents in the state.
On March 31, Vaccine Equity Now! Coalition Co-Chairs Atyia Martin, from the Black Boston COVID-19 Coalition, Eva Millona, executive director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, and Carlene Pavlos of the Massachusetts Public Health Association released a statement. It was created as a response to Governor Charlie Baker’s declaration that Massachusetts will be receiving new 100,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in the next week.
“The additional supply of 100,000 Johnson & Johnson doses is a major, positive development for Massachusetts’ vaccine rollout that will help increase access to these lifesaving shots,” reads the statement. “However, we urge the Governor to center equity in his allocation of the doses. Governor Baker should use this as an opportunity to follow through on his previous commitments and allocate at least 20% of these doses to Massachusetts’ hardest hit communities. Since the Johnson & Johnson vaccine only requires one shot, these doses will be particularly impactful for people in our communities who have limited mobility or are homebound – particularly BIPOC and immigrant residents that have been vaccinated at lower rates than white residents.”
Shira Laucharoen is a reporter based in Boston. She currently serves as the assistant director of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism. In the past she has written for Sampan newspaper, The Somerville Times, Scout Magazine, Boston Magazine, and WBUR.