New Bedford mayor concerned by lack of vaccination sites in Southeastern Mass.

SE Mass
12 on 12: Vaccine 101

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (WPRI) — When New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell looked at a map of where vaccination sites are located across Massachusetts, he wasn’t pleased with what he saw.

“I was a little incredulous,” he recalled. “I couldn’t actually believe that there were no sites set up in Southeastern Massachusetts, or even Cape Cod, or even in far Western Mass.”

Mitchell posted the map to Twitter and expressed his frustrations, adding that for his residents, the closest vaccination site is 50 minutes away at Gillette Stadium.

When Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan saw the map, he immediately reached out to Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito for answers.

“Her contention was to guarantee us that Southeastern Massachusetts will not be left out, that the map was dated,” he said.

He said he was told Bristol Community College will be utilized as a vaccination site. But he’s concerned that the city won’t receive enough vaccines to distribute to its pharmacies as well.

“If we can get our drug stores up and running, that will give us multiple sites all over the city,” he said. “You really don’t want everyone going to one site. That really doesn’t make a lot of sense.”

Despite being told by EMS workers that he could get vaccinated, he declined.

“They said ‘We have one vaccine left, do you want to come up,’ and I said ‘Absolutely not.’ I want to, but I can’t. I will wait my turn,” he said.

12 News reached out to Gov. Charlie Baker’s office regarding the vaccine map shared by Mitchell, but have yet to hear back.

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