Today, Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito were joined by Secretary of Health & Human Services Marylou Sudders and Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Disaster Medicine Director Dr. Paul Biddinger to discuss the Commonwealth’s vaccine progress and outline the next phase of vaccine distribution.
In December, the Baker-Polito Administration set a goal of vaccinating approximately four million people in the Commonwealth. According to the CDC’s vaccine data, 3.9 million people in Massachusetts have been fully or partially vaccinated as of today. Another 180,000 people are scheduled to get their first dose in the next 7 days.
Altogether, 4.1 million are set to be fully vaccinated by the beginning of June —reaching the administration’s initial goal and representing a significant achievement for the Commonwealth.
Next Phase of the Commonwealth’s Vaccination Efforts: More Targeted, Community-Based Options
Massachusetts is a national leader for vaccine distribution across every national metric. As a result of the state’s efforts, hospitalizations and new positive cases decreased — particularly among our most vulnerable residents.
While reaching 4.1 million residents vaccinated represents progress, the administration will continue to adapt vaccine efforts to be more targeted and will shift vaccines to smaller scale operations focusing on certain populations and specific communities—such as the Commonwealth’s 20 most disproportionately impacted communities.
This next phase of the Commonwealth’s vaccine efforts will include:
- Providing all 22 regional collaboratives with doses to fully operate their programs.
- Doubling the state vaccine allocation for our 20 most disproportionately impacted communities.
- Working with the Mass Medical Society to increase access of vaccines with additional primary care providers by mid-May. This effort will require affirming complex storage and scheduling logistics to ensure all doses are put to good use.
- Expanding mobile vaccine clinics in our 20 most disproportionately impacted communities at senior centers, houses of worship and other community-based organizations.
- Working with current providers and community partners to offer new vaccine clinic opportunities.
Over 21,000 doses have been administered through mobile vaccination clinics in Boston, Chelsea, Brockton, Fall River, Springfield and New Bedford. Mobile clinics have been particularly effective in our equity communities and to reach people of color. So far, 61% of vaccine recipients at these clinics have been people of color.
New vaccine clinic opportunities have already started to be stood up. Some examples include:
- The Metro North Regional Collaborative’s three new clinics at the Encore Casino in Everett, Tufts Campus in Medford and at the Cambridge Health Alliance location in Somerville.
- Boston Medical Center’s new vaccine scheduling location at the South Bay Shopping Center.
- Mobile clinics in Lynn, New Bedford, Worcester and Fall River at local churches and temples in different languages.
- The City of Brockton’s clinic at the Westgate Mall and at different municipal housing complexes.
Mass Vaccination Sites & Pre-Registration
The Baker-Polito Administration will also begin to transition or ramp down the state’s seven mass vaccination sites. Mass vaccination sites have played a critical role in the Commonwealth’s vaccination process in a very short period of time.
At the mass vaccination sites, the Commonwealth has administered 1.2 million doses and fully vaccinated 470,000 people since the first site opened at Gillette Stadium on January 18th. The state expects to administer around 250,000 second doses in May and another 180,000 first doses across all providers over the next seven days.
With millions of people vaccinated, the demand for high throughput mass vaccination sites will gradually decline, and more vaccines will be dispersed more widely across communities.
The administration will gradually close four out of the state’s seven mass vaccination sites by the end of June (Gillette Stadium, Hynes Convention Center, Double Tree in Danvers & the Natick Mall).
We will soon begin to accept walk-ins at select mass vaccination sites. Information about availability for walk-ups will be reflected on VaxFinder.mass.gov soon.
Appointments for some sites will also be available at VaxFinder.mass.gov or by calling 211.
Since the pre-registration system was launched, over 1.8 million people registered and have been offered an appointment at least twice.
In the coming weeks, the state is anticipating that the CDC may authorize vaccines for children ages 12-15, and we will keep pre-registration available for parents who may want to bring kids to a mass vaccination site.
More details to come when the CDC determines the next steps on this.