February 22, 2021

Massachusetts Congressional Delegation Calls on FEMA to Support Massachusetts Request for Vaccination Center Pilot Partnership Program

Pilot program would provide resources and support to vaccination efforts in disproportionately impacted communities across the state

Text of Letter (PDF)

WASHINGTON, D.C. - United States Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Edward J. Markey (D-MA), along with Representatives Richard E.  Neal (D-MA-01), James P. McGovern (D-MA-02), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA-08), William Keating (D-MA-09), Katherine Clark (D-MA-05), Seth Moulton (D-MA-06), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA-07), Lori Trahan (D-MA-03) and Jake Auchincloss (D-MA-04), sent a letter to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in support of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' request for consideration as a pilot program under the FEMA Vaccination Center Pilot Partnerships program. Massachusetts would utilize this program to support vaccination efforts in underserved communities across the state as part of an ongoing effort to reach vulnerable populations.

"Given Massachusetts' record as a national leader in health care and public health, we are confident that the state is well-suited to receive this vital support to help prioritize these medically underserved communities that have greatly suffered from the COVID-19 pandemic. We strongly support the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' request for designation as a pilot program site and ask that you give their request your fair and full consideration," the lawmakers wrote. 

Earlier this month, Massachusetts announced a targeted outreach initiative in 20 municipalities across the state that have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. These communities are: Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, and Worcester. Throughout the pandemic, these cities and towns - particularly Black and Latinx residents and essential workers - have felt the greatest burden from the pandemic and the economic recession. It is critical that the Commonwealth receive additional resources to equitably administer the vaccines and to ensure that it is accessible to these communities.

A pilot program designation would provide the necessary resources and support to complement these ongoing efforts by the Commonwealth to target these disproportionately impacted communities. As of February 15, more than half of Massachusetts residents age 75 and older received their first vaccine dose. On February 18, the Commonwealth opened vaccination appointments to individuals 65 and older and those with two or more qualifying medical conditions.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Senator Warren has been fighting for an equitable response to COVID-19. Last week, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Representative Clark and members of the Massachusetts Congressional Delegation urged Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to Governor to act with the requisite urgency to develop and implement a centralized, accessible system for all Massachusetts residents to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccinations. Last month, Senators Warren, Ed Markey, and Rep. Pressley sent a letter to the Department of Health and Human Services urging the Department to work with relevant governmental agencies to monitor and address racial, ethnic, and other demographic disparities in the national COVID-19 vaccination deployment strategy. In January, Senator Warren sent a letter to President Biden's administration providing recommendations on vaccine distribution and health disparities in COVID-19.