FRAMINGHAM – Massachusetts Department of Public Health has 300 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to deliver to the City of Framingham each week, according to state leaders. The State is waiting on the City of Framingham at this point to collect the doses, store the doses, and then administer the doses at a clinic for residents.
Yesterday, senior citizens across the Commonwealth could begin registering for the vaccine, which shots for those age 75 and older will begin on Monday, February 1.
The Town of Natick and the Town of Weston are hosting clinics, but they are for residents only. Natick’s public health clinic is at its senior center.
The Town of Needham is hosting a clinic and opened it up to all residents in Massachusetts. Some Framingham residents were able to get an appointment. But many Framingham residents had to find appointments in Danvers, Springfield, Marlborough or at Gillette Stadium, not in Framingham.
The City of Framingham issued a press release which said ” Why is the Framingham Health Department not hosting public vaccination clinics? Given limited vaccine supplies, the State of Massachusetts is not allocating local health departments vaccine for large public clinics. There are no Framingham Health Department public clinics scheduled for adults 75 and older at this time.”
“I know it is frustrating when the solution seems so close at hand,” said Mayor Yvonne M. Spicer in that press release. “Availability of vaccine supplies will increase.”
But the City of Framingham has 300 doses of the vaccine waiting for them, according to Mass Department of Public Health.
SOURCE reached out to the city and received this statement.
“Framingham is working on a clinic plan for older adults (over 75), but we do not have an idea of how much vaccine we will receive. When we know more, we will announce it. You will be on the distribution of that news,” said the City of Framingham’s Chief Information Officer Kelly McFalls.
But other communities like Lowell and Needham, already holding public health clinics, know how much of the vaccine it is receiving.
And, according to multiple state sources, so does the City of Framingham know that it will be receiving around 300 doses of the vaccines each week. Mass Department of Public Health promised communities around 100 doses of the vaccine weekly, some communities were getting more amounts.
“Since the announcement of the vaccine rollout, I have heard from many worried seniors concerned about vaccine availability in Framingham,” said at-large City Councilor Janet Leombruno. “I reached out to the Commonwealth to find out our status. I was informed there are 300 doses per week allotted to Framingham, but the state’s department of public health is waiting for the city to claim them.”
“I am told the city has 300 doses a week allocated by the state, so I am not sure why the city is confused about the matter. I saw an email from our acting health director, confirming that we have doses. I hope the city can concentrate on trying to get clinics set up. Clearly we need many more doses, but lets get started,” said City Council Chair George P. King Jr.
“I look forward to hearing the plan from the Spicer administration so we can quickly get shots out to our seniors. I am ready to assist in any way I can,” said Leombruno.
“The City also has been having trouble finding locations for walk up testing and/or clinics. I continue to advocate for the use of Nevins Hall. it is a large space, with good traffic flow in a convenient location, and the building is presently closed to the public,” said Councilor King.
The City used Nevins Hall in the Memorial Building to host a vaccine clinic for first responders earlier this month.
“I am also overwhelmed with emails frustrated at the lack of a Framingham location, especially those who cannot or do not drive. We are also regularly reminding the administration that not everyone can sign up via a website, although there do not appear to be clear plans on how to sign up if you don’t have an email or a computer. My office can try to help, but the registration process does require the input of personal information. We are pleading with the Administration to put in some phone lines,” said Rep. Robinson, yesterday.
Municipalities, hospitals & medical centers, and higher education institutions could request vaccines for COVID-19 vaccine sites.
There are roughly 200,000 individuals in Massachusetts age 75 or older.
In the last 7 days, the Commonwealth has administered 52,239 first dose vaccines and 31,673 second doses, for a total of 83,912 COVID-19 vaccines.
As of January 12, there have been 239,174 vaccines issued in the Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth said it was shipped 347,450 doses of the vaccine, as of January 12.
A state public health official warned Massachusetts communities their vaccine shipments would be “capped going forward through February” because the federal government has not made enough vaccines available to the states.
Newly-sworn in President Joseph R. Biden has pledged 100 million doses of the vaccine during his first 100 days.
“We can only move as fast as the federal government shifts vaccines to the Commonwealth,” Gov. Charlie baker told the press during a media briefing.
Presently, Massachusetts has more than 100 vaccine sites, with a capacity to give 240,000 doses weekly. Those sites include Gillette Stadium, and soon Fenway Park in February.
On Monday, Gov. Baker outlined a plan to accelerate COVID-19 vaccines sites to 165, with a capacity of 305,000 doses per week
In MetroWest public vaccine sites, open to all eligible for the vaccine are:
- Marlborough: UMass Memorial Marlborough Hospital – sign up here: https://bit.ly/361gNvq
- Newton: Mt. Ida Campus (UMass Amherst) – sign up here: https://www.holtzmanmedical.org/covid19
- Needham: Rosemary Recreation Complex – sign up here: http://maimmunizations.org/
- Needham: Harvard Vanguard Medical Associates-Atrius Health – sign up here: https://myhealth.atriushealth.org/fr
Editor’s note: Reported posted at 9:48 a.m. Updated at 10:48 a.m. with quote from City Council chair.