Lawrence Mayor Makes Push Against Vaccine Hesitancy and Inequity

Mayor Kendrys Vasquez of Lawrence is seeking the help of Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker to get his city vaccinated against coronavirus

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With vulnerable populations lagging behind in coronavirus vaccinations, officials in Lawrence, Massachusetts, are getting aggressive.

Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez says misinformation is spreading on social media, and the inequality is real. He says he wants Gov. Charlie Baker's help to deal with the issue.

The most Hispanic city in Massachusetts continues to have one of the state's highest COVID-19 positivity rates.

"There has been a large hesitancy in members of our community," Vasquez said at a press conference with Baker.

That hesitancy can delay a return to normal life amid a pandemic that has disproportionately affected people of color.

"Moving toward as many people getting vaccinated will help us bring us back together," Vasquez said.

In a virtual town hall Thursday night, the mayor answered vaccine questions to combat the misinformation.

With the state focusing on mass vaccination sites, Lawrence is close to opening its own.

"In the city of Lawrence, we have to understand that many folks might not have access to accessible transportation, and it's important that we meet them where they are," Vasquez said.

The vaccination site will be at the Arlington Middle School, and it may open next week.

The need is critical, the mayor said, adding that the school's neighborhood is not only the poorest in Lawrence, but possibly in all of Massachusetts.

He says the school is easy to get to if you live in the area and have no access to transportation.

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