Vaccination Efforts Underway in Lawrence, 1 of 2 Mass. Communities Remaining in Red Zone

Only Lawrence and New Bedford remain at the highest risk level for COVID-19 transmission, and officials in those communities are working to get more people vaccinated against the coronavirus

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The list of cities and towns in Massachusetts' red zone, the highest risk category for COVID-19 transmission, is down to just two. But in Lawrence and New Bedford, efforts are underway to get more people vaccinated.

"It's still on red zone, so why?" asked Kassandra Rodriguez of Lawrence.

"I think the city's doing the best that they can, but people have to put in the work, too," said Miguel Martinez of Lawrence

From walk-in vaccine clinics, to a COVID vaccine call center, to mobile vaccination efforts, Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez says officials are trying everything they can to get people vaccinated and finally move their community out of the red zone.

"We also continue to go door to door, to houses, but in addition to that, we also have been doing so to businesses. We are literally registering people where they are. We are literally vaccinating people where they are," said Vasquez.

But looking at the percentage of the population with at least one vaccine dose, Lawrence is well below the state average and several comparable communities – like Chelsea and Revere – at just 42%, according to the most recent Department of Public Health numbers.

Vasquez says that data doesn't tell the whole story.

"Something that we have to understand is that the city of Lawrence is a young city, in comparison to the rest of the state, so many of our residents did not qualify to receive the vaccine early on," said Vasquez.

The mayor says residents age 50 and over are over 70% vaccinated.

But he is determined to do even better.

"We can move forward if we all do it, it will give us an opportunity to remove this mask and really walk around and be with our family and friends and hug each other," Vasquez said.

So will Lawrence lift coronavirus restrictions along with the rest of the state on this Saturday?

Vasquez says he will be looking closely at the data and making a decision soon.

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