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'A Long Way From Being Over': Volunteers Encourage Boston Residents To Get COVID Vaccine

BOSTON (CBS) - Taking it to the streets is not just a campaign slogan. Volunteers were canvassing and leafleting Boston neighborhoods encouraging residents to turn out for a mobile vaccination clinic at Franklin Park on Saturday.

"As we know there's a history of mistrust in Black and brown communities, they're afraid," said Muhammad Ahmad, who works with the Black Boston Covid-19 Coalition which is pushing to get more people vaccinated in communities of color in Boston.

It's hard to miss the message with new billboards in neighborhoods hardest hit by the pandemic, and with the lowest rates of vaccination. A mobile clinic is now ready to hit the streets in this new push.

"What will happen is it will be so easy for us to have an explosion of new cases in this community with so many unvaccinated," said former state senator Dianne Wilkerson who is the founder of the Coalition.

She estimates at least 65 percent of Blacks and Latinos in the city of Boston have not been vaccinated. It's a number that is not just concerning but considered dangerous.

"People are going to think it's all done, all won and go and move to the next crisis. I think one is a long way from being over," said Rev. Liz Walker pastor of Roxbury Presbyterian Church who also served on Governor Baker's Covid advisory committee.

Massachusetts won't quite reach the governor's goal of 4.1 million people in the state fully vaccinated by early June. In mid-April the state was averaging more than 85,000 vaccinations a day. Flash forward to June and the number has dropped to around 37,000 doses a day.

Among the skeptics is a Dorchester woman who did not want to be identified but was ready to share her reasons for not getting vaccinated. "I understand Dr. Fauci early on said it would be two to five years to get a solid vaccine. This is experimental and that's what concerns me."

That is what is motivating this campaign to push even harder.

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