1ST IN THE NATION: CVS Health and Walgreens pharmacies launch COVID-19 vaccine sites in Massachusetts

Coronavirus Local Impact

BOSTON (NEWS10) — The Baker-Polito Administration announced the expansion of more vaccine locations in each region at pharmacies and health care providers. Additionally, a second mass vaccination site was announced to administer more vaccines per week by the thousands.

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.

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.

Susan Sharbaugh of Erving told 22News, “We’ve gotta get rid of this virus. We’ve got to move on.”

“Thought it would go a little faster but now it’s really starting to ramp up,” Michael Cachat of Greenfield added.

Approximately 40 vaccination sites will be added the week of Jan. 25 through current partners and collaboration with additional partners (Wegmans, Big Y, Price Chopper, Stop & Shop, Hannaford).

Second, the Administration announced that Fenway Park will become the state’s second mass vaccination site, the first being Gillette Stadium. The ballpark will open on Feb. 1 to start administering up to 500 vaccines per day to eligible residents in the Phase 1 priority groups.

“Wonderful,” said Susan Sharbaugh. “We need it. We need it! It’s been long overdue.”

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.

“I’m not huge on the vaccine but this is the one to get,” said Cachat. “That way we can get back to somewhat normal.”

The Administration also announced that the UMass Amherst vaccination site will expand to provide inoculations for eligible residents in Phase 1 priority groups. UMass Amherst has been providing vaccines to first responders, and plans to now offer vaccines to all eligible residents in Phase 1 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 vaccines for independent 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.

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).

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Only on WWLP.com | Digital First

More Digital First

Trending Stories

Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases

Coronavirus News

More Coronavirus

Donate Today