SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The new COVID-19 variant continues to spread across the country, as vaccine rollout expands.
Health experts warn that we could see a high number of cases from the new variants by the spring, making it crucial to get the vaccines to everyone as soon as possible.
Nearly one year into the pandemic and COVID-19 is spreading at record high rates across the country, and with it, new variants of the virus are emerging. Experts say that it’s not surprising that new variants have emerged in the US including the first case in Massachusetts.
Researchers call the new strain from the UK, B.1.1.7. The variant is between 50 percent and 74 percent more transmissible than the standard COVID-19 strain. Health experts believe the new strain may dominate US cases by March.
“As vaccines continue to be distributed, Mercy Medical Center in Springfield will open up a vaccine clinic for those outside of their hospital system. Of course, you have to be in the phase one distribution phase in our state,” Robert Roose, Chief Medical Officer at Mercy Medical Hospital said.
Dr. Roose continued, “It does not mean that anyone can receive the vaccine today or receive the vaccine for a walk-in. The vaccine clinic which will be open to the community is only for people that fall into the eligible groups and is by appointment only.”
Dr. Roose said that they do not take phone calls regarding vaccine appointments. That is something you need to do online.
Many people across the county are concerned about when they will be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Each state is responsible for the order of who can get it, and when. That time table is also dependent on how much of the vaccine is available.