LOWELL– State Rep. Vanna Howard, backed by 34 other legislators, sent a letter to Gov. Baker earlier this week urging him to “immediately implement a targeted strategy to leverage our community health care organizations’ expertise and experience,” instead of his current strategy of prioritizing the state’s six mass vaccination sites.
“I was quite honored to get the support from my colleagues (in both) the House and in the Senate, and (the letter is) generating quite a buzz,” Howard, who just began her first term, said in an interview. “We’re talking lives here. To lose one is too many.”
Howard has the authority to speak to this issue, having resigned from her role as Lowell Community Health Center’s chief of external and governmental affairs just a month ago.
“We just feel that why not keep it local?” she said. “It’s a proven strategy over and over that community health centers, community hospitals, local boards of health, those are the institutions that the community trusts, (that) people know. We’re in a health crisis, people are scared, especially the vulnerable people, the disabled, the elderly.” She added that she’s been disappointed in the vaccine rollout, given the amount of time the state had to prepare for it.\