Massachusetts’ moving forward with COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

Coronavirus Local Impact

LUDLOW, Mass. WWLP)- As millions of health care workers receive the fist and now second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, states are now looking to check off other high-risk groups.

Nearly 120,000 vaccine doses have been administered so far, in Phase 1 of Massachusetts’ distribution plan.

Health care workers at the Hampden County Jail have too been given the first dose the vaccine, as well as Hampden County Sheriff Nick Cocchi himself. He told 22News it sends a message to the inmates that they are all in this together.

“Its important our staff and inmates get done collectively together, said Hampden County Sheriff, Nick Cocchi. “It builds trust and it starts the process for herd immunity in order to minimize the spread of the virus in the institution.”

Dr. Kevin Coughlin has a Connecticut dental license so he was able to get the first dose of the vaccine.

“I have had very few side effects from the vaccine its a typical injection,” said Dr. Coughlin, Dentist at Ascent Dental Care in East Longmeadow.

From what he’s seen, the biggest issue on the vaccine front, is convincing the public and even health care workers that it is safe.

“Right now with health care professionals they are only 80 percent vaccinated. That’s because you can’t force someone to get vaccinated, said Dr. Coughlin.

That’s because the FDA approved Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccine for emergency use due to the pandemic, so medical facilities cannot make getting a shot mandatory.

Sheriff Cocchi expects to begin providing vaccines to inmates by the end of the month. But before that, first responders will be vaccinated over the next couple of weeks.

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