Joan Hartley

State Senator

Joan Hartley

Chief Deputy President Pro Tempore

An Independent Voice

May 4, 2021

Sen. Hartley, Rep. Reyes Welcome Grant Selection to Support Vaccine Equity Efforts in Waterbury

Today, State Senator Joan Hartley (D-Waterbury) and State Representative Geraldo Reyes Jr. (D-Waterbury), Chair of the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus, welcomed the announcement by Governor Lamont and the state Department of Public Health that Waterbury will be a recipient of federal grant funding to be used to develop partnerships between local health, community organizations, and vaccine providers to promote and expand vaccine equity. The city is one of 27 municipalities and local health departments to be selected to share in over $13 million in federal support.

The grant funding is part of a national undertaking to make sure residents in underserved communities, including ethnically diverse communities and communities of color, have equal access to the COVID-19 vaccines. Efforts to be put into action through these partnerships include, but not limited: door-to-door canvassing, outbound calling and texting, peer-to-peer training, and canvassing in immigrant communities. Also, the funding will go toward mobile and fixed site COVID-19 vaccination programs, helping transportation services, and homebound and homeless vaccinations.

“To ensure the health and economic recovery of our state, we need to continue scaling up efforts to have the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to every neighborhood in the City of Waterbury,” said Sen. Hartley. “I’m pleased the city has been selected to be awarded this critical grant funding to bolster ongoing community outreach efforts and help residents with transportation needs.”

Rep. Reyes said, “This week Connecticut became the first state in the nation to vaccinate 50% of its population – a huge testament to not only the healthcare workers administering vaccines, but also to the state’s continued commitment for an efficient and equitable vaccine rollout plan. This grant is vital to town’s like Waterbury as it works synergistically with our own local efforts to protect and vaccinate our residents. I am thankful Governor Lamont and DPH both understood and implemented equitable practices in order to safely vaccinate communities like my home of Waterbury.”

The announcement of this federal support follows the Department of Public Health requesting applications from local health districts and departments for the grants. The applying districts and departments had to detail efforts that would be taken to address vaccine equity in the municipalities they serve. In addition, the applicants had to identify community and vaccine provider partners. Final grant amounts are not currently available as contracts with the recipients have not been finalized, according to a release from the governor’s office.