How A Community Center in Boston Got More Shots Into Arms

How A Community Center in Boston Got More Shots Into Arms


Current Payton Fellow Nina Garcia co-authored an article on COVID-19 vaccine equity with Lawyers for Civil Rights (LCR) Executive Director Ivan Espinoza-Madrigal.

Garcia has focused on racial disparities in access to vaccines during her fellowship with LCR, including by providing legal and technical support to Boston's Whittier Street Health Center as it expands community-based vaccination efforts in Black and Latinx neighborhoods.

Excerpt: “Long waitlists at neighborhood organizations and successful street campaigns to inoculate passersby suggest that there is, in fact, a great degree of vaccination interest within the communities mistakenly pegged as having high levels of ‘vaccine hesitancy.’ Indeed, many people approached outside of the clinic at the Veronica Robles Cultural Center, when asked if they had already been vaccinated, proudly responded, ‘Sí, claro!’ (‘Yes, of course!’) For many of those who had not, the combination of a direct, personal and bilingual invitation to get vaccinated, with the convenience of the neighborhood location and lack of complicated registration process, proved to be the tipping point. If we hope to vaccinate the number of people required to achieve herd immunity, these efforts at humanizing the vaccination process—along with other incentives—will be critical.”

Read the full article.