Gov. Charlie Baker made a pledge back in December that the state would allocate 20% of COVID-19 vaccines to hard-hit communities during Phase II. Now, halfway through Phase II, Baker told Boston Public Radio last week that the state is making good on its equity promise. But not everyone is convinced, and Baker has faced sharp criticism on the vaccine rollout from lawmakers and the general public alike.

Michael Curry, president and CEO of the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers and a member of Baker's COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, spoke to Boston Public Radio on Tuesday about the state's vaccine inequity gap.

"I think we should all be frustrated, as this process has not worked well throughout the nation," he said. "But I would give credit to the Baker administration that we embedded an equity strategy for what we were trying to do."

The administration has run into challenges with the vaccine rollout, Curry said, but it's put in the effort to build and integrate equity into its vaccine rollout.

"Now that's why Massachusetts is doing better than much of the rest of the country in terms of equitable distribution," he said. "That doesn't mean we should be happy about that — it just means we're the best of the worst, and we still have a lot more work to do."

Black and brown people, immigrants and people in rural areas have been hardest hit by COVID-19, Curry said.

"If you live in suburban communities, you have access to the vaccine, you'll be able to navigate the systems, you probably have a hospital not too far from you, you may even have a choice of which vaccine you get," he said. "But if you're in urban areas or rural communities, there are barriers, the prevalence rates are higher and the social vulnerability is higher."

The whole equity question centers around how to get the vaccine to people with the highest prevalence and social vulnerability rates, Curry added.

"Those are Black folks, those are brown folks, those are immigrant communities and rural areas, poor white communities," he said. "We have to have the courage to put systems in place that gets the vaccines in the arms of those that need it to save their lives."