Planned May 23 Clinic Builds on Success of Weekend Vaccinations of Latinos, Young People

Manny Matias, president of the Haverhill Latino Coalition, receives his COVID-19 vaccination. (Courtesy photograph.)

Haverhill hosts a second, free public vaccination clinic Sunday, May 23, following on the success of its first weekend clinic geared toward the Hispanic and Latino communities and high school students 16 and older.

Last weekend’s vaccine administration was led by the Haverhill Latino Coalition and organized by Mayor James J. Fiorentini.

“Our efforts led to a very successful Sunday clinic, serving over 80 people,” Manny Matias, president of the Haverhill Latino Coalition, said. “The Haverhill Latino Coalition and the mayor understand that you have to get down to that very grassroots level, understand what communities need, listen to those local members and meet them where they are,” Matias added.

Community leaders and volunteers made hundreds of telephone calls and knocked on doors in the city’s densely packed Mount Washington and Acre neighborhoods to promote the first weekend clinic and educate residents about the safety and importance of the vaccine in ending the COVID-19 pandemic.

“This effort was a total success in serving people of color who continue to lag behind in vaccination rates,” said Fiorentini, noting 86 Haverhill residents and workers were vaccinated at the May 2 clinic. He said he found the large participation by 16- and 17-year-olds “especially encouraging.”

The clinic, operated by the Curative health care company and overseen by the state Department of Public Health, will provide first shots on a walk-in basis as well as second Pfizer shots Sunday, May 23, from 11 a.m.-3 p.m., at the AmVets function hall, 576 Primrose St., Haverhill.

Curative also administers vaccines every weekday at AmVets, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., through a mix of vouchers available at the mayor’s office and walk-in appointments. Because the site offers the Pfizer vaccine, which is for anyone 16 and older, the city has also been promoting the site as the place for young people to get vaccinated.

The upcoming May 23 clinic was arranged on the heels of Gov. Charlie Baker’s recent announcement that the state vaccine strategy is beginning a new phase with increased reliance on public outreach and smaller, local vaccination sites rather than massive state sites.

Curative staff are joined by Manny Matias and Kathy Rurak of the Haverhill Latino Coalition. (Courtesy photograph.)

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