The CARE (Community Alliance for Research and Engagement) program, based at both the SCSU College of Health and Human Services and the Yale School of Public Health, is using a major CDC grant to advance several community-based initiatives, including promoting the importance of flu vaccinations as a way to ease the burden on health care systems during the COVID-19 pandemic. Alycia Santilli is the Director of CARE.
According to CARE’s data, during the 2019-20 flu season in New Haven, more people of color than whites were hospitalized due to the flu: 35 percent of Black and 31 percent of Hispanic residents, compared to 22 percent of white people. This year, with COVID threatening to overwhelm health care facilities, keeping people safe from the flu seems more crucial than ever. So CARE is engaging in outreach within city neighborhoods, with seven newly hired community workers visiting places like food pantries, senior housing, barber shops and hair salons, to talk to residents about the flu vaccine and encourage them to get vaccinated. The New Haven Register recently published an article about CARE’s efforts to calm residents’ fears about vaccines and encourage them to get vaccinated:
“Flu Fighters Combat Vaccination Fears in New Haven”
By Sujata Srinivasan December 16, 2020