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Chelsea To Get COVID-19 Vaccines Directly From Federal Government

CHELSEA (CBS) - Senator Elizabeth Warren came to one of the front lines of the pandemic in Massachusetts, La Colaborativa in Chelsea, which has been hurt by the virus physically and economically. "Chelsea showed what is possible," said Senator Warren.

She toured the community service organization that pushed for its own vaccination site in collaboration with the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center, to generate trust of the vaccine and access in the community which resident Laura Rixe says was essential for her. "Your community is taking care of you basically," said Rixe.

La Colaborativa has now impressed the federal government, which will be one of the few health centers in the country to now get vaccines directly from the feds. Its state supply can be diverted to other locations.

"The federal government wants to use these as demonstration projects and that's part of what makes me so proud of what happens in Chelsea," said Senator Warren.

Trust and access to the vaccine is an issue in Chelsea and beyond which is why many communities are forming partnerships to make sure as many people as possible get vaccinated.

Much like La Colaborativa, Morningstar Baptist Church in Mattapan has now opened a vaccination site in collaboration with Mattapan Community Health Center and Boston Medical Center, to address the issue of equity in minority communities.

"We're trying to canvas every possible opportunity to get vaccines in arms," said Dr. Thea James of Boston Medical Center.

Rizpah Middleton says without community access like the church she likely wouldn't have been vaccinated. "It would have been difficult because I don't drive," she said.

The church is also removing barriers to language, transportation and trust. "Residents of Mattapan can stay local, they can come to one of the foundations of this neighborhood Morningstar Baptist Church and this is the key to expanding vaccination," said Guale Valdez, CEO of Mattapan Neighborhood Health Center.

Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you're eligible and to book an appointment.

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