So you want to get vaccinated against COVID-19 but you’re a little intimidated going to giant Gillette Stadium for your shots?
Or you just don’t have a way to get there?
The state, smartly, is bringing the vaccines to our backyards.
With demand for the vaccines easing and thousands of appointments available, Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is ramping down operations at four of the state’s seven mass vaccination sites — including the football stadium in Foxboro — and shifting doses toward smaller providers as officials look to focus on “harder to reach” and more hesitant populations.
The pivot comes as the state’s vaxfinder.mass.gov website shows thousands of vaccination appointments available across both large and small vaccine sites, including pharmacies, health clinics and local community centers. And with 3.9 million people in Massachusetts already partially or fully vaccinated and another 180,000 first-dose appointments scheduled in the coming week, state officials project the state to reach its goal of fully vaccinating 4.1 million residents by the beginning of June.
The time seems right for the state to shift strategies and prioritize convenience over efficiency in order to make the vaccines more readily available for “the last 30 percent” of Bay Staters who haven’t yet booked an appointment.
Massachusetts should be proud of its status as national leaders in vaccinations. The coronavirus pandemic has gripped the world for well over a year, stifling not only commerce but interactions with friends and family.
Ramping down the mass vaccination sites and bringing the shots to more smaller-scale clinics is a smart approach to reach those still not inoculated. These include people of color and residents of hard-hit communities as well as those intimidated by large clinics like Gillette’s.
We urge local residents who still haven’t gotten their shots to take advantage of these clinics. Or you can book an appointment anywhere in the state at vaxfinder.mass.gov.
Vaccinations have proven to be the best way to loosen the grip COVID-19 has had on us for too long now.
And those shots are now right in our backyard.