What’s to come in Phase 2 of the state’s vaccine rollout

Coronavirus Local Impact

WEST SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – There’s been a feeling of frustration in Massachusetts, over the state leaving out older adults in Phase 1 and those with health conditions who could be most at risk at developing severe COVID-19 complications.

Some are trying to stay positive about it.

“I would say hang in there and eventually things will work out in everybody’s favor,” said Briana Dexter of West Springfield.

In Connecticut, they’ve already begun vaccinating seniors 75 and older. Seeing neighboring states’ different vaccine distribution strategies, has made it confusing to follow.

“I’m not really in tune with how the rollout is supposed to be happening, versus how it is happening,” said Pam Morales of West Springfield. “I know there are a lot of logistics involved, but of course we need to get those most at-risk the vaccine first.”

Local public health leaders appreciate the increasing interest in the vaccine, but are asking for patience, until the state can properly mass distribute doses of the vaccine to other high risk groups.

“At that point there will be an infrastructure of multiple sites where seniors, individuals with health conditions, and other members who are risk of compilations of COVID will be able to sign up for vaccination,” said Dr. Robert Roose, Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Medical Center.

Dr. Roose said there are many potential Phase 2 vaccination sites that are being discussed right now, including the clinic at Mercy Medical Center. There is also interest at having mass distribution sites at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.

Adults over 65, teachers, grocery workers, and other Phase 2 groups are expected to be able to receive the vaccine by mid-February.

About 5-percent of Massachusetts residents have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine so far. According to the CDC, just 1 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated.

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