Mass. official suggests COVID-19 vaccines should be given at polling places

12 on 12: Vaccine 101

BOSTON (WPRI) — Getting a COVID-19 vaccine and casting your ballot for a local election may become a reality in Massachusetts.

Earlier this week, the Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin wrote to Gov. Charlie Baker to suggest the creation of a pilot program that would allow COVID-19 vaccination centers to be set up adjacent to polling places in upcoming local elections.

Galvin says this would make it possible for those who are eligible for a vaccine could receive their first shot in a “nearby and convenient location, after casting their ballot.”

“With planning, this opportunity presents geographically organized populations which are specifically identified and where appropriate age can be verified,” the letter states. “Because of social distancing protocols which are already in effect, larger premises are being used
already for voting.”

Galvin’s office says all towns in Massachusetts will be holding their annual elections throughout the spring, which would overlap with the period of time most residents are expected to be able to receive their first shot.

President-elect Joe Biden wants Congress to pass his nearly $2 trillion two-pronged rescue and recovery plan when he takes office. Biden is calling for $400 billion in funding to help get control of the virus and improve the vaccine rollout.

The plan calls for about $20 billion to be allocated to focusing on vaccination and would allow for the creation of mass vaccination centers and sending out mobile units to hard-to-reach areas.

The President-elect is expected to announce more details of his vaccination plan Friday.

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