SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Low demand for COVID-19 vaccinations is leading to the closing of mass vaccination sites across the state.
The Eastfield Mall was one of seven mass vaccinations sites to open this past winter. While it has vaccinated thousands of people, it had a rough start. The only Mass vaccination site in western Massachusetts is set to close Tuesday.
The former Macy’s inside the Eastfield Mall opened in February to give people a convenient place to get a COVID-19 shot. It was one of seven mass vaccination sites in the state. But when it opened its door this past winter, there were some issues.
State Senator Eric Lesser said, “You can’t get in people are waiting around the mall.”
Hundreds of people, mostly senior citizens had to wait outside in the cold and snow.
“A lot of frustration, especially in this weather,” said Sen. Lesser.
Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno responded, and allowed people to wait inside the mall. He also asked for more workforce, deployment of the National Guard, and a review of Curative’s systems. A couple of days later, Sen. Lesser visited the site, happy to see the new changes.
He said, “When I went through it looked to be going very smoothly. People seem to be happy with the experience.”
While these sites are closing, there are still places to get a shot. The state’s COVID Command Center is sending texts and phone messages to residents in disproportionately impacted communities reminding people of the importance of getting a vaccine. More than 62 percent of Massachusetts is fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
The Big E’s regional vaccination site closed last month. The last mass vaccination site to close will be the Former Circuit City in Dartmouth, which closes July 13.