Worcester COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Initiative

Learn about the vaccine equity resources available to Worcester.

Table of Contents


To date, a total of 22 organizations serving Worcester have received $3,922,136 through the Vaccine Equity Initiative.

These 22 organizations are part of the 196 community organizations that have been awarded over $51.1 million through the Vaccine Equity Initiative. Many of these organizations work across multiple communities, and some of them are funded through multiple components of the initiative.

Between March 3, 2021 and July 30, 2021, Worcester was allocated a total of 18,800 equity vaccine doses.

DPH Community Liaison program

A designated DPH Community Liaison is working with each of the 20 communities to help address the specific needs of each community.

Worcester liaison: Therese Fleisher, VaccineEquityInitiative@mass.gov

Community-specific vaccination data

Community-specific data includes an interactive dashboard of vaccine administration results in each Vaccine Equity Initiative (VEI) community, updated weekly, and data from the DPH COVID Community Impact Survey to help target approaches.

Support for municipalities and local boards of health

Support for municipalities and Local Boards of Health includes direct funding of municipalities and Local Boards of Health for coordination and support for vaccine clinics and promoting vaccine acceptance.

Worcester: $338,378 (Awarded 3/30/21)

Additional COVID-19 local boards of health funding supports includes direct funding to meet immediate personnel and equipment needs to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Distributed through state funds received through the federal CARES Act, the Public Health Trust Fund, and through direct appropriation beginning in March 2020.

Additional funding to Worcester: $300,000 (Awarded beginning March 2020)

Investment in community health centers

Investment in community health centers expands vaccination infrastructure and build capacity at community health centers, including support for community health workers. Community Health Worker Ambassador Program funding includes $25,000* per Community Health Center through June 2021, with an additional $25,000 for FY22.

*funded through a public-private partnership

Funded Community Health Centers

Community Health Center Municipalities Funding
Family Health Center of Worcester Worcester $55,000
Community Healthlink Inc. Worcester $50,000

Massachusetts Community Health Workers for Resilient Communities Program (MA-CRC)

Announced in January 2022, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) is partnering with 10 organizations to implement a new program, the Massachusetts Community Health Workers for Resilient Communities (MA CRC) Program. Program activities will focus on the training and deployment of community health workers to respond to the immediate needs of communities exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and to build community resilience to protect against inequities in future emergencies. Community Health Workers in Community-Based Clinical Care will promote COVID-19 vaccination, education and prevention. MA-CRC will support the establishment of the Community Health Workers COVID Action Collaborative which includes State Office of Community Health Workers, the State Office of Local and Regional Health, the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, and the Massachusetts Association of Community Health Workers.

Partner Organization Funding Amount Municipality Served
Family Health Center of Worcester* $400,000 Worcester

*Indicates partners who will place community health workers in the local board of health, in addition to the primary care setting.

Tailored community- and faith-based outreach and education

Tailored community and faith-based outreach and education includes supports to raise awareness of strategies to minimize the spread of COVID-19 and increase vaccination confidence and access for priority populations. Funding amounts to community and faith-based organizations reflect awards from December 2020 through June 2022:

Organization Communities Served Initial + Expanded Award
Dec. 2020 – Dec. 2021
New Grantees
May – Dec. 2021
New Grantees
June – Dec. 2021
Geographic Expansion
Sept. – Dec. 2021
Jan. – June 2022
New Grantees
March 2022 – June 2022
African Community Education Program Worcester $80,150       $37,500  
Worcester Interfaith Leominster, Fitchburg, Framingham, Southbridge, Worcester $103,750     $25,000 $50,000  
The Joint Committee for Children’s Health Care, Everett Boston, Chelsea, Everett, Framingham, Lawrence, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Melrose, Revere, Somerville, Stoneham, Worcester, Statewide   $66,667   $25,000 $49,963  
Asian Women for Health Boston, Dorchester, Brookline, Cambridge, Malden, Quincy, Worcester   $65,200   $25,000 $49,963  
Love Your Menses Boston, Holyoke, Springfield, Worcester           $39,237
The Latino Health Insurance Program, Inc. Boston, Dedham, Framingham, Marlborough, Milford, Norwood, Walpole, Waltham, Worcester   $66,667   $25,000 $50,000  
UHAI for Health Inc. Auburn, Millbury, Oxford, West Boylston, Worcester           $48,153
JAHAN Women and Youth International Boston, Brockton, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Framingham, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Medford, Revere, Somerville, Springfield, Worcester     $61,829 $25,000 $50,000  
Southeast Asian Coalition of Central Massachusetts Auburn, Boylston, Fitchburg, Worcester     $61,829 $25,000 $50,000  
Extreme Kid Inc. Boston – Dorchester, Chicopee, East Longmeadow, Framingham, Hadley, Holyoke, Indian Orchard, Northampton, Randolph, South Hadley, Springfield, Worcester, Statewide           $50,000
The Everett Haitian Community Center Chelsea, Everett, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, Revere, Worcester, Statewide $98,750       $50,000  
African Cultural Services, Inc. Belmont, Burlington, Framingham, Lowell, Newton, Waltham, Watertown, Woburn, Worcester           $20,456

Focused grassroots outreach

Focused grassroots outreach in Worcester, led by ASG, includes teams of trained community residents to help increase vaccine trust and facilitate appointment registration through one-to-one conversations and providing referrals to services.

Activity Type Completed Week Ending September 26th Cumulative Since Activities Began
Number of Doors Knocked 781 36,539
Number of Phone Calls Made 139 23,414
Number of One-On-One Conversations 183 11,617
% of conversations with unvaccinated 25.1% 43.2%
Number of Visibility & Outreach Events 12 308
Number of Materials Disseminated 0 1,871

The ASG team from Worcester consists of approximately 41 people from the partner Community Based Organizations (CBOs) listed below. They are conducting all grassroots outreach activities for the community, including door-to-door canvasing, business walks, visibility events, town hall support, phone banking and texting.

  • Latino Education Institute: $49,463
  • Southeast Asian Coalition: $53,044
  • Worcester Interfaith: $63,394

Total CBO Funding: $165,900

Mobile vaccination services

Mobile COVID-19 vaccination services address a particular community need that cannot be met by existing vaccination opportunities and are deployed to meet the needs of prioritized populations.

UMass Memorial Medical Center is providing mobile clinics to community spaces in Worcester to reach priority populations In addition, Worcester is coordinating community-based clinics with mobile vaccination resources provided by the National Guard and targeted grassroots efforts by the ASG team and community-based organizations. Worcester is also providing community-based clinics to reach priority populations through DPH-contracted vendors.

Vaccine access and administration in community setting

This funding is intended to increase community-based access to and receipt of COVID-19 vaccination for priority communities and populations who are experiencing disproportionate impacts of COVID-19.

Vaccine Access and Navigation Services funds organizations for services such as assistance with appointment registration, transportation to vaccination clinics, mobility assistance, medical interpretation, and other supports.

Customized Vaccine Administration funds qualified community organizations to directly administer vaccination to groups not effectively reached by other mechanisms. These organizations can be deployed to smaller venues, with populations that may require more intensive one-on-one support to get vaccinated.

The following organizations are receiving funding for 12 months to begin offering services by mid-May 2021:



Vaccine Access and Navigation Services 

Customized Vaccine Administration 

Communities of Focus (People from other communities may also be served) 

AIDS Project Worcester (Partners with UMass Worcester)



Fitchburg, Leominster, Worcester 

UMass Worcester (Partners with AIDS Project Worcester)




Centro Las Americas, Inc.




Family Health Center of Worcester 



Communications materials

Communications materials are available to support communities with vaccine information; translated materials available in 10 languages.

Visit www.mass.gov/TrustTheFacts.

The COVID-19 Community Impact Survey

The COVID-19 Community Impact Survey is a survey of more than 35,000 people regarding the social and economic consequences of COVID-19 on MA communities. View the findings

COVID-19 vaccination and testing sites

COVID-19 Vaccination: Visit Vaxfinder.mass.gov to search for appointments at pharmacies, health care providers, and other community locations

COVID-19 Testing: Free testing is available in all 20 communities, including via the Stop the Spread program. Sites can be located using the state’s website: www.mass.gov/CovidTestSearch.