Hynes vaccination site to administer 7,000 shots a day
Mobile vaccinations start next week in 5 communities
AN EIGHT-WEEK federal-state pilot vaccine program at the Hynes Convention Center will begin administering 7,000 shots a day starting Wednesday and then next week begin diverting roughly 2,000 doses a day to mobile units that will administer shots in Chelsea, Revere, Boston, New Bedford, and Fall River.
At a press conference at the Hynes, Gov. Charlie Baker said the mass vaccination center at the Hynes (relocated from Fenway Park) will receive 1,000 doses a day from the state’s allocation of vaccine and 6,000 doses a day supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
Bob Fenton, the acting administrator of FEMA, said his agency has set up more than 20 of the pilot sites across the country and a key priority is targeting vaccines to socially vulnerable communities. He said 60 percent of doses at the other pilot programs tend to go to racial and ethnic minorities.
With the Hynes located in the Back Bay, one of the most affluent sections of Massachusetts, a priority will be convincing people from outside of the immediate area to come to the convention center and to deliver vaccines into communities where the target populations are located. People interested in booking an appointment at the Hynes vaccination site should pre-register at vaccinesignup.mass.gov.
“People will come here, but, as the administrator said, we also need to go out to where they are,” she said.
Fenton said the two-dose Pfizer vaccine will be distributed from the Hynes during the first six weeks and the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine the final two weeks. It was unclear how the Pfizer vaccine will work in the mobile program, since it requires storage in sub-zero temperatures until it is ready to be administered, when it can be transferred to standard refrigeration for a period of five days. Baker in the past has said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which can be stored at room temperature, is much easier for mobile delivery.
Rochelle Walensky, the head of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the former chief of the division of infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital, spoke briefly at the press conference and said the feeling of “impending doom” about COVID that she mentioned on Monday was just a feeling she has had before other surges.
“Right now it’s preventable,” she said of infection spread. “We know what we need to do to stop the surge and we should go ahead and do it.”Walensky o has been critical of states for reopening their economies too early and allowing mask mandates to expire. She raised no concerns on Tuesday about Baker’s recent decisions to reopen the economy in Massachusetts and Baker stressed that residents of the state need to keep up their guard against the spread of infection, a sentiment shared by Walensky.
“We are just asking you to hang on a little bit longer,” she said.