Tuesday, January 19, 2021
Baker-Polito Administration Launches COVID-19 Vaccine CDC Pharmacy Partnership - Phase 1, Expands Vaccine Locations & Names Fenway Park as Mass Vaccination Site Command Center Announces New Vaccine Sites to Administer Several Thousands More Shots Per Week Statewide
Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced the expansion of more vaccine locations in each region of the Commonwealth at pharmacies, health care providers and a second mass vaccination site to boost the capacity to administer vaccines per week by the thousands. The Commonwealth will continue to add more vaccination sites throughout Massachusetts. Information on available sites will be available on a rolling basis here - https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-locations-for-individuals-currently-eligible-to-be-vaccinated
First, the Administration announced that Massachusetts will become one of the first states in the nation to launch the COVID-19 CDC Pharmacy Partnership - Phase 1 with CVS Health and Walgreens pharmacies located throughout the Commonwealth. Starting this week, this program will deliver a total of 10,000 doses to at least 15 CVS Health and Walgreens pharmacies a week for eligible residents in the Phase One priority groups.
Second, the Administration announced that Fenway Park will become the state’s second mass vaccination site, joining Gillette Stadium. The ballpark will open on February 1st to start administering up to 500 vaccines per day to eligible residents in the Phase One priority groups.
Next, the Administration also announced that UMass Amherst will expand their vaccination site to provide inoculations for eligible residents in Phase One priority groups. UMass Amherst has been providing vaccines to first responders, and plans to now offer vaccines to all eligible residents in Phase One priority groups immediately.
Finally, to increase vaccine access for Phase 1 eligible priority groups, the Baker-Polito Administration is launching the Hospital Depot Initiative. This new program will facilitate access to COVID-19 vaccine for independent physician practices prioritized under Phase 1.
Current eligible groups under Phase 1 include: Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care; Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities; First responders (EMS, Fire, Police); and Congregate care settings (including corrections and shelters).
CDC Pharmacy Partnership - Phase 1
Massachusetts will be among the first states to activate retail pharmacy vaccination at scale through select CVS Health and Walgreens, which will start inoculating eligible residents in Phase One priority groups by appointment.
Starting this week, at least 15 CVS Health and Walgreens, located in areas of the state where there is currently less access to convenient vaccine sites, will receive a total of 10,000 vaccines to administer this week. The first 15 locations are located in Greenfield, Fall River, Salem, South Yarmouth, Pittsfield, Lee, Holden, Gardner, Hyannis, Mashpee, Somerset, Fairhaven, Haverhill, Saugus and Danvers. Eligible residents in Phase One priority groups can view sites and book an appointment today by clicking here. Approximately 40 vaccination sites will be added the week of 1/25 through current partners and collaboration with additional partners (Wegmans, Big Y, Price Chopper, Stop & Shop, Hannaford). Massachusetts expects to increase vaccine volume through retail pharmacies in the coming weeks. The Command Center will provide more details as pharmacy partners and sites come online.
Fenway Park Named as Second Mass Vaccination Site
Fenway Park will be the state’s second mass vaccination site and will open on February 1st. Initially, the ballpark is scheduled to administer 500 vaccines per day by appointment and will ramp up to providing 1,000 vaccines per day soon to eligible residents in Phase One priority groups. CIC Health will operate the site, with Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, part of Beth Israel Lahey Health, as the medical director.
The site is expected to stay open through the beginning of baseball season in early April. The Command Center is also working with the City of Boston to identify and set up a longer-term vaccine site in Boston.
Last week, the Administration announced Gillette Stadium as the first mass vaccination site, which opened for eligible Phase One groups yesterday. This week, the site is expected to work up to administering over 1,000 vaccinations per day, and soon after, 5,000 vaccinations per day. Eligible residents in Phase 1 priority groups can book an appointment at Gillette Stadium by clicking here. The Command Center is finalizing plans for several other mass vaccination sites.
UMass Vaccination Site Expansion
Beginning today, the University of Massachusetts at Amherst has expanded their role to administer COVID-19 vaccines, providing vaccinations for all eligible groups in Phase One of the state’s distribution plan. This high capacity site will serve eligible groups in the Western Mass area. Appointments for the UMass Amherst vaccination site can be booked here.
Hospital Depot Initiative
To increase vaccine access for residents in eligible Phase 1 priority groups, the Baker-Polito Administration is launching the Hospital Depot Initiative. This new program will facilitate access to COVID-19 vaccines for independent COVID-facing physician practices prioritized under Phase 1. The Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center and DPH, in collaboration with the Massachusetts Medical Society (MMS) and Mass General Brigham (MGB), is managing this initiative starting with COVID-facing health care workers. Under this initiative, hospitals serving each region of the state have been identified as a depot to assist the Commonwealth with its vaccination distribution efforts. For clinical practices that are unable, due to their staff size and storage capacity, to receive larger, direct allocations of vaccine, a depot hospital will receive doses on their behalf and redistribute vaccine and all ancillary materials for office-based vaccination. In some cases, the hospital will provide direct vaccination to health care workers. The Massachusetts Medical Society is managing communications and coordination with physician practices.
Participating hospitals include:
Mass General Brigham, Lawrence General Hospital, Signature Brockton Hospital, UMass Memorial Medical Center, Baystate Medical Center and Berkshire Medical Center.