WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Big E in West Springfield is administering the Moderna vaccine and appointments are available online Wednesday.
The West of the River Collaborative vaccination site will be held at the Transportation Center located at the Gate 1 entrance to the Big E beginning April 20. There will be 25 percent of the vaccines allocated to residents who are from West Springfield, Agawam, Westfield, Southwick, Granville and Tolland.
COVID-19 vaccinations will start at the Big E site at Noon Tuesday, thereafter the site will be open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Appointments will be made available every Wednesday for the following week. Appointments are required and if you arrive more than 15 minutes early, you are not permitted to be on the Eastern States Exposition grounds.
The fairgrounds expects to get about 1,500 vaccinations a week for the first few weeks but when operations really starting ramping up, thy expect to eventually vaccinate up to 1,200 people a day.
“We’re going to be working up to that. We need to be able to hold that capacity. If you look around the room we have 8 vaccination stations so if we were fully staffed, we had all the vaccine doses we would be able to do 1,200 a day. In reality we are going to be starting with 300,” said Carly Camossi, Chief Operations of the vaccination site.
The Big E fairgrounds is no stranger to hosting large events. Mayor Will Reichelt told 22News the site can handle tons of traffic and thousands of people, making the West Springfield location the perfect spot for a COVID-19 regional vaccination site.
“As we can see the perfect site . The logistics the big e has experience handling 150,000 people in a single day during the big e and our police have the ability to handle that kind of traffic so we are set up to handle this type of event,” said Mayor Reichelt.
The site opens as Massachusetts residents 16 years or older are expected to be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination on April 19.