The City of Chelsea leads the State of Massachusetts in youth vaccination rates (ages 12-19), and owns the highest overall vaccination rates statewide among the 20 prioritized communities featured in the Vaccine Equity Initiative (VEI).
After being the hardest hit community in the State of Massachusetts during the COVID-19 pandemic, Chelsea residents committed to getting the vaccine with over 71 percent of the City being fully vaccinated and 82.9 percent receiving the first dose. These numbers are reinforced by the City’s youth, who have the state’s highest vaccination rates in the 12-15 and 16-19 age demographics.
Chelsea’s first-dose rates between the two age groups have dramatically risen over the last few months. Utilizing the data in the VEI, which compares vaccination data from 20 prioritized communities in the state of Massachusetts, 93.3 percent of 12-15 year olds in Chelsea have received the first dose of the vaccine, while 99.1 percent of 16-19 year olds have been administered their first dose as of September 14. These numbers also best the state averages of 70.7 percent and 70.8 percent, respectively, for the 12-15 and 16-19 demographics.
The fully vaccinated rates for these age groups are equally impressive. Among 12-15 year olds, 78.0 percent are fully vaccinated, and 16-19 year olds are 80.7 percent fully vaccinated in Chelsea. Both totals rank as the highest among the 20 communities in the VEI. Chelsea is one of just two communities in the VEI to have percentages of fully vaccinated 12-15 and 16-19 year olds that rank higher than the state average. In the 12-15 bracket, 59.7 percent of Massachusetts residents are fully vaccinated while 61.6 percent are fully vaccinated in the 16-19 age range.
“We’re pleased to see the amount of Chelsea residents who have received their COVID-19 vaccinations over the past few months, including our youth,” commented City Manager Tom Ambrosino. “As kids returned to school this fall, it was great to see the initiative that many of them took to get vaccinated to ensure that our schools were a safe environment for learning.”
The City of Chelsea and Chelsea Public Schools were active in encouraging its residents to get vaccinated. The City developed a public campaign, urging as much of the population as possible to get vaccinated after the community endured hardships throughout the pandemic. COVID-19 vaccinations were available at the Chelsea Senior Center during weekends, and many public events throughout the city offered vaccinations for residents. Community groups such as La Colaborativa, the Chelsea Black Community and more incorporated vaccination clinics into their community programming. Chelsea High School also hosted vaccination clinics for CPS students and their families over the summer. All these offerings were free for residents.
“The vaccination rates of the teenagers and young adults in Chelsea, many of whom attend Chelsea Public Schools, are something that I’m very proud of,” Superintendent Dr. Almi G. Abeyta stated. “The more students that are vaccinated allow us to keep them safe in school and to continue their learning. Our students deserve to be commended for their commitment to being leaders in our community, and becoming the highest-rated vaccination recipients in their age groups in the state.”
The City also sponsored “Vaccine Festivals” during the summer that featured fun-filled events such as food trucks, giveaways, entertainment and more. The festivals as well as the clinics in the high school provided those who received their shot with $25 gift cards to local establishments, and some even raffled off high-level prizes such as IPads. The events rewarded residents for receiving their vaccinations, and created a communal atmosphere around making Chelsea as safe as possible in response to COVID-19.