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New Haven Vaccinates Over 10K; Effort Underway to Reach Fair Haven Neighborhood

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It’s a hands-on, boots-on-the-ground approach to getting Kica Matos’ hard-hit Fair Haven neighborhood vaccinated.

“When it comes to community of colors I want be really clear, Connecticut has failed,” Matos said.

Matos says the area, which is 83% African American or Latino, has disproportionality seen Covid cases and deaths compared to white neighborhoods. She says barriers like language, technology and lack of government trust, so far, are leading to similar disparities when it comes to vaccinations.

“So what that means is communities like this one are not being vaccinated and the efforts toward outreach have not been successful,” Matos said.

That’s why she and 200 other volunteers from area community-based organizations will go door to door tomorrow to schedule more than 17,000 residents for their vaccine right at their doorstep.

“It’s just really simple really straightforward human contact door-to-door knocking and respectful engagement in what I call this beloved community,” Matos said.

The effort comes as New Haven city leaders celebrate vaccinating more than 10,000 residents on Friday. Mayor Justin Elicker cited pop-up clinics and partnerships with health care and faith-based groups for the success but says there’s still work to be done to make the vaccine more accessible.

“Some of the online systems that have been created are not as easy for people to use, we’re working very hard with our partners to make it as easy as possible for people to be able to just call and set up an appointment,” Elicker said.

“Our campaign will continue until we’ve knocked on every single door,” Matos said.

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