BOSTON, Oct. 8, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Yesterday, the City of Worcester, in partnership with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts ("Blue Cross"), concluded its four-part Youth Fall Vax Series aimed at increasing youth vaccination rates. Since the first event on Sept. 17, the event series has provided educational materials on the COVID-19 vaccine to 1,600 youth, engaged more than 450 people in local events and administered 41 new vaccinations.
The Youth Fall Vax Series was the latest COVID-19 health initiative of the Worcester Department of Health and Human Services. With support from Blue Cross, the City collaborated with four local youth organizations – Worcester Youth Center, Boys & Girls Club of Worcester, YMCA and Girls Inc. – to host educational events focused on spreading awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine to local youth and administering vaccines to those who wanted it.
Progress is being made to increase vaccination rates among youth as Worcester continues to experience positive COVID cases as a result of the Delta variant. Since the series launched in mid-September, the percentage of residents who are fully vaccinated has increased from 56 to 63.5 percent. For individuals ages 12-29, the vaccination rate has increased from 44 to 47 percent.
"Blue Cross is committed to increasing vaccination rates in our communities," said Jeff Bellows, vice president of corporate citizenship and public affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. "We're honored to have partnered with the City of Worcester to promote easy and equitable access for youth and their families to the safe and effective coronavirus vaccine that will help us end this pandemic."
To attract youth, the four organizations relied on youth ambassadors to spread awareness through phone banks, distribution of posters and text message campaigns. Clinics also featured music, food and raffles, including $150 gift cards for sneakers from Sneakerama, Scoop Drip and EbLens.
"Vaccinating our youth and BIPOC communities is critical so we can protect ourselves against the Delta variant and any other variant that may come in the future," said Health and Human Services Commissioner Dr. Matilde Castiel. "We're proud to partner with local youth organizations and their young leaders to steer our city's vaccination efforts."
About Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (bluecrossma.org) is a community-focused, tax-paying, not-for-profit health plan headquartered in Boston. We are committed to the relentless pursuit of quality, affordable and equitable health care with an unparalleled consumer experience. Consistent with our promise to always put our members first, we are rated among the nation's best health plans for member satisfaction and quality. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and LinkedIn.
SOURCE Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts