State to begin sending doses to high priority vaccination sites only

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CHICOPEE, Mass. (WWLP) – Starting March 1, the state will no longer ship first doses to the state’s smallest vaccination sites, or communities holding clinics that serve only their own local residents.

Small output vaccine clinics across Massachusetts will be canceling vaccine appointments after second doses, as the state prioritizes vaccine access to high-volume sites.

“I would describe as a very equitably framed process at the beginning of this, but the big message we got from the public was vaccinate. And there’s no question the fastest way to do this is with high-volume-sites,” Governor Charlie Baker said.

The goal is to make high-volume sites more efficient, and to vaccinate more people, faster. Vaccine supply will now be streamlined to locations such as mass vaccination sites, regional collaboratives, and pharmacies.

Community-based sites must be able to administer at least 750 doses per day to continue being supplied, and clinics serving only members of their community would no longer be receiving first doses.

22News spoke with Chuck Bentley from Chicopee who said he will be getting his second dose shortly, but his loved ones are still waiting to be vaccinated.

“I mean I want to see everyone get it, and I don’t know if one hurts the other or helps the other, I really don’t know, I just really hope everyone does get it,” Bentley said.

Springfield and Holyoke are the only communities not affected by the change in distribution because the Department of Public Health identified the two communities as among the 20 Massachusetts cities and towns being hit hardest by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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