Municipal run clinic in Dartmouth vaccinates thousands ahead of closure

SE Mass

DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — It’s a shot in the arm to do what they haven’t done in nearly a year.

“I can do more. What would you like to do? I’d like to go to Target and shop a little.”

At 100 years old Eleanor Gay of Westport just recovered from six months in the hospital, including time with hospice.

She got her second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Saturday morning at Dartmouth High School.

Westport, Dartmouth, UMass Dartmouth, and other organizations united to offer several vaccine clinics to the community in the past couple months here.

The Baker Administration halted that, instead rerouting efforts to mass vaccination sites — the closest to here — opening up just a few miles away in Dartmouth at the old Circuit City.

Dartmouth Public Health Director Chris Michaud showed 12 News an empty box once filled with vaccine vials. He said they’ve been able to administer nearly 4-thousand doses in just a handful of days.

“A lot of people have told us that they feel safe here, that they like the setting, they like the familiar faces, they like the protection that we offer not only with social distancing that exceeds the minimum standards but also that we have a large number of EMTs on scene, ambulances, nurses,” Michaud said.

Rosemary Oliveira said it was easy to sign up her parents and mother-in-law. Oliveira was already vaccinated as part of a vaccine study last fall.

“They’ve got this done very well. All these people in one day. I’m disappointed that it’s ending. I wish it didn’t because so many people are benefiting from it,” she said.

Her 83-year-old mom and 85-year-old dad are excited to go to church again.

Next Saturday will be the final second dose clinic at Dartmouth High School for people who already received their first dose through the clinic.

Several lawmakers have signed a petition to Gov. Baker asking him to continue municipal programs for vaccine drives like this.

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