Councillor, City Manager Say They Will Take Vaccine, Encourage Residents Also

Councillor Leo Robinson and Council President Roy Avellaneda said they would take the COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available, and they are encouraging others in Chelsea to do the same so the community is protected.

On Monday, City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he would also take the vaccine and encouraged residents to do so as well. At the Dec. 21 Council meeting, Robinson announced that he would be taking the vaccine and encouraged residents to educate themselves and, hopefully, take it as well.

That came amidst some skepticism announced by Councillor Damali Vidot the two weeks ago where she said she needed much more information before she took it, and that she remains skeptical. “I am going to take the shot,” said Robinson.

“I understand the history of vaccinations and the medical profession with African Americans, but one of the lead scientists on this vaccine is an African American woman. I trust the vaccine and I will get it when it becomes available to me. I am also encouraging every Chelsea resident to get it as well. It is important we all get vaccinated so this program works correctly.”

City Manager Tom Ambrosino said he will get the vaccine and encourages others to do so as well. However, he said to erase some of the skepticism, there needed to be more leaders in the communities of color to reassure folks the vaccine is safe and necessary. “I am absolutely going to take it as soon as it’s available to me and I am encouraging Chelsea residents to it given the severity with which the virus has been in Chelsea,” he said. “We need trusted pillars of the community to take it and I don’t necessarily think I fall into that category. We need people of color to take it, Latino and Latina members of the community to take it and others as well.

We need to reverse the skepticism some residents have about the vaccine and that it is in their best interests.” Ambrosino said his brother is a nurse at Brigham & Women’s Hospital and he has already received the vaccine and had no issues with it. “Everything I have read and heard is this vaccine is safe and given the severity of the virus in Chelsea, we need large numbers of people to get vaccinated to help the effort,” he said.

As part of Gov. Charlie Baker’s priority vaccination plan, Chelsea would be a community that would get consideration with respect to distribution of vaccine. Under the plan, communities like Chelsea that have been disproportionately impacted would get 20 percent more vaccine than allowed by population formulas.

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