Waterfront Vaccination Site to Open for New Bedford Seafood Workers
A COVID-19 vaccination site for seafood workers on the New Bedford waterfront is slated to open April 10th.
The city and the Greater New Bedford Community Health Center are cooperating on the site with federal funding.
“This is a turning point for us in New Bedford,” said Damon Chaplin, the city’s health director. “We finally have a facility and access to vaccines to reach those hard-to-reach populations that we've been talking about for the last year.”
Adrian Ventura, executive director of Centro Comunitario de Trabajadores, a workers’ community center focused on the Spanish-speaking and Mayan K’iche’-speaking communities, said the new vaccination site is very convenient to the Near North End, where many of the workers live.
“They could just get vaccinated here, at work, or when they come home,” he said through a translator, “because a lot of them, like I said, live in the north. So it's very easy to get transportation here ... or they come walking, too, as well.”
The Greater New Bedford Community Health Center is receiving nearly $4 million in federal stimulus money, and CEO Cheryl Bartlett said she feels relieved to be able to serve the community after financially rocky times earlier in the pandemic.
“It has been quite a ride, and it does take a village to get through something like this,” she said.
Situated in an industrial building on the waterfront, the clinic will offer the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Doses are coming directly from the federal government.
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and U.S. Rep. Bill Keating joined New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell for a tour of the site on Wednesday.