Baker: Mass vaccination site to open at Gillette Stadium next week

SE Mass

WORCESTER, Mass. (WPRI) — Eligible COVID-19 vaccine recipients will soon be able to get their dose at Gillette Stadium, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Baker provided an update on the state’s vaccination efforts Tuesday in Worcester at one of the 119 sites across Massachusetts set to vaccinate first responders, which began Monday.

“In the first few days there has been an overwhelmingly positive response by first responders to get vaccinated,” he said. “The challenge we hope will be keeping up with the demand.”

Baker said mass vaccination sites are being organized throughout the state, with the first one set to open next week at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro.

Vaccinations are anticipated to begin there on Thursday, but only for the staff who will be administering the vaccines at the facility. First responders are expected to begin getting vaccinated on Jan. 18.

“It’s a big step forward in our fight,” Baker said.

The governor said the Gillette location will start by administering 300 doses a day, but is expected to ramp up to 5,000 daily.

Other eligible individuals will be able to get vaccines at these mass vaccination sites as the state moves through the phases, Baker added.

Eligible vaccine recipients will be able to make appointments on the state’s website.

“The vaccines can’t get here fast enough,” he said. “The big hope on the horizon is the arrival of more vaccines and the ability to distribute them.”

Mass. health officials reported 4,906 new positive coronavirus cases Tuesday, and that an additional 67 people had died after contracting the virus.

The data showed 2,219 people are currently hospitalized with COVID-19 in the state, with 451 in intensive care units.

As of Sunday, the governor said over 470,100 doses of vaccine have been distributed to providers in Massachusetts.

He said all skilled nursing facilities are expected to have had at least one visit from the vaccination program, which is run by CVS and Walgreens, by the end of this week. He said 317 of the 379 skilled nursing facilities in Massachusetts have already been visited.

The governor also said the state will move on to the next phase of vaccine distribution in the coming days. He is expected to release more information on the specifics later this week.

This next phase is expected to include congregate care communities and residents ages 75 and older, but Baker was blunt Tuesday, explaining that the state is only able to plan a few days in advance.

He said that’s because they receive word on shipments about two days before they arrive, making planning nearly impossible.

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