News

WBUR; Lynn Jolicoeur

Dr. Jessie Gaeta, chief medical officer of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, says while she and her colleagues are seeing vaccine hesitancy across the board — and they expected it — it's most pronounced among Black people in the shelters.

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Dig Boston/Angela Yang

"There is no viable substitution to sanitary pads or tampons, said Melinda Thomas, associate medical director of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, because those hygiene products are specifically developed to absorb large volumes of blood."

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Drew Karedes; FOX25 News

“It’s important for folks who have been vaccinated to share their experiences,” said Barbara Giles, a nurse and COO with the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program. “We’re hoping shared personal experiences will help the process.”

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CBS News; Max Bayer

Successful vaccine rollouts among homeless populations have occurred for other disease outbreaks as well. When a meningococcal outbreak hit Boston's homeless shelters in 2016, advocates and officials responded swiftly. In a six-week period, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, led by President Jim O'Connell, vaccinated more than 3,600 people, roughly half of the city's entire homeless population.

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WBUR; Lynn Jolicoeur

In three days, Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program (BHCHP) has vaccinated close to 200 shelter guests and nearly 150 staff members at the city's three biggest overnight emergency shelters — the public men's and women's shelters run by Boston Public Health Commission and Pine Street Inn. There are about 2,000 people staying in Boston shelters who are 18 or older and approximately 1,500 shelter staffers eligible for the vaccine, according to BHCHP, which says it's aiming to offer first doses to all of those people by the end of February.

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Jordan Frias; Commonwealth Magazine

Dr. Jim O’Connell, president of the Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, said the Pine Street Inn has about 400 people staying at its shelter, and those most at risk will be prioritized.

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WBUR; Lynn Jolicoeur

People experiencing homelessness in Boston are expected to begin receiving coronavirus vaccines within a few days. 

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GBH; Isaiah Thompson

Dr. Jim O’Connell, president of Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program, said that living outdoors carries severe health risks, but that right now, given the potential for transmission of COVID-19 indoors, “allowing the encampments to be is probably safer during these immediate times."

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CBS This Morning

"Homeless people wander the city all day long. No one ever says their name with any kind of dignity. Often they never say their name."

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The Boston Globe; Ali Audet

Olivia Allison, a care coordinator at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program who works with Welcome Home to provide goods for newly housed individuals, said she was nervous at the beginning of the stay at home order that many organizations were working entirely remotely. But when she emailed Welcome Home about providing items for one of her clients, they were able to fulfill the request with curbside pickup.

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