Rep. Andy X. Vargas said Friday, he and his team have helped more than 2,500 Haverhill residents and workers make COVID-19 vaccination appointments—partly by using novel smartphone apps.
As more Spanish-speaking residents become eligible this week, he said, bilingual outreach continues via WhatsApp—a text messaging platform popular in the Latino and immigrant community—as part of his “Get Out the Vaccine” effort. By the end of this week, he added, every Haverhill school teacher or staff member who wants a COVID-19 vaccine will have received at least one dose.
“Thanks to our targeted efforts and strong partnership with (Greater Lawrence Family Health Center) GLFHC, Haverhill is one of the first school districts to have all teachers and school staff receive a first dose,” Vargas said, adding, “…our outreach to eligible Haverhill residents and workers has ensured that vulnerable folks who can’t sit around refreshing a web page all day, actually get appointments.”
Vargas thanked the Health Center, which operates Haverhill Family Health Center on Main Street and established a clinic at Central Plaza on Water Street, and Mayor James J. Fiorentini.
Greater Lawrence Family Health Center Senior Vice President Rich Napolitano returned the accolades.
“The care and concern Team Vargas has provided in making sure his constituents and others throughout the community have access to the Covid vaccine as they have become eligible has been remarkable. As the eligibility criteria to receive the vaccine opens up next week, we will continue to partner with Rep. Vargas and others to ensure expanded access to the vaccine with the hopes of reaching herd immunity as soon as possible,” Napolitano said.