Chelsea’s La Colaborativa targets teens and youth with vaccination drive

CHELSEA, Mass. — Chelsea’s La Colaborativa and Mass General Brigham are ramping up their community outreach efforts by targeting teens and other young people.

The team engaged young people Friday for a mobile COVID-19 vaccination drive in Chelsea for young people ages 1-29.

“They weren’t as afraid of COVID as young people were. The older people, that’s where we saw the hospitalizations and certainly the deaths,” says Cristina Alfonso of La Colaborativa.

With city residents once in the epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak, and unable to get to mass vaccination sites, the Chelsea nonprofit and East Boston Neighborhood Health Center launched their own community vaccination site last February, even taking to the streets and going door-to-door to make sure residents got the shot.

“We’ve trained these health promoters. We’re going door-to-door. We’re trying to make sure that everyone is aware of the wrap around services that La Colaborativa offers,“ says Alfonso.

According to the state’s weekly COVID-19 Municipality Vaccination Report, just 10% of Chelsea residents ages 12-19 are vaccinated.

Compare that 65% of residents 20-64 years old who have received at least one dose.

La Collaborativa has recruited its so-called “RIOT Squad” to target peers and, their parents.  

”We have some parents that are scared. This is a new vaccine, so one thing we have been doing is making sure parents can interface with us at the health equity team, other vaccination experts, other medical experts,” Alfonso said.

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