Lawrence among Mass. communities with lowest vaccination rates

LAWRENCE, Mass. — The state just released new vaccination rates this week broken down town-by-town.

Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez says he’s not surprised Lawrence has some of the lowest numbers.

“Supply in the city of Lawrence continues to be a challenge and I think we need to get more vaccines to ensure we come out of the red,” said Vasquez.

According to the state, only about 15 percent of Lawrence residents have had at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far.

Lowell and Everett are vaccinating at a similar pace behind most other towns, while some of the highest vaccination rates are found in towns along Cape Cod with Provincetown already vaccinating more than half of their population.

“A lot of our folks do not qualify due to the age, yet are still out there continuously,” said Vasquez.

Mayor Vasquez says Lawrence has a young population with many still not eligible for the vaccine, which may be much different than the demographic along the coast.

Plus he says most of their residents speak Spanish, so getting the word out about the vaccine has been a challenge.

“The statewide campaign effort was not targeted to a community like ours, how do you translate ‘get the vax, get the vax’ into another language?” said Vasquez.

That’s why he says the city of Lawrence launched a new mobile vaccination clinic this week to bring the shot to the communities with the highest needs.

“I think we have to meet people where they are in order to get them vaccinated,” said Vasquez. “The city of Lawrence has multiple challenges, not only with transportation but also the scheduling for when people work, so it’s important we’re flexible.”

Vasquez says with the new mobile vaccination clinic, you are not required to make an appointment although it’s recommended.

Plus the city launched a hotline last month to help people make appointments to get the vaccine.

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