No Additional First Doses to be Delivered
Swansea Town Administrator Mallory Aronstein, Somerset Town Administrator Richard Brown and Public Health Nurse for the Towns of Swansea and Somerset Emily Lachance wish to share the latest information regarding the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine throughout the region.
On Wednesday, Feb. 17, the Towns of Somerset and Swansea were informed by Gov. Charlie Baker that effective the week of March 1, the State will no longer be providing first dose vaccines for most individual municipal clinics, Somerset and Swansea included. As such, the towns will not be able to schedule additional first-dose vaccination clinics.
“We regret to inform the community that Somerset and Swansea will no longer have the ability to co-host COVID-19 vaccine clinics for residents,” Public Health Nurse Lachance said. “Unfortunately, this situation is out of our control. It’s a shame that we will no longer be able to host and administer the vaccine to eligible individuals as we have hosted several successful clinics over the past few weeks and were ready and able to continue to do so.”
As the Commonwealth moves forward and as many more residents become eligible to receive the vaccine, the State will be streamlining the vaccine distribution process and will be placing an emphasis on mass vaccination sites and regionalized clinics. There is also a growing number of pharmacies and other retail locations administering vaccines. The State’s Vaccine Finder website allows residents to search for vaccine sites and schedule appointments.
The State has indicated that Somerset and Swansea will still receive second vaccine doses for individuals who already received their first dose through their local clinics. The Town will continue to keep residents informed of future second-dose clinics as additional vaccines are received for this purpose.
To date, the towns have administered 1,301 first doses of the Moderna vaccine to first responders and residents age 75 and over at the clinic at Somerset-Berkley Regional High School. The towns have also administered approximately 490 second doses of the vaccine.
“We were discouraged to learn about the state’s decision to suspend future first vaccine dose shipments to municipalities,” Town Administrator Brown said. “Since we received word of COVID-19 vaccines becoming available, we have worked tirelessly to plan and execute these clinics within our communities. While we are committed to ensuring that all of our community members receive their second vaccine at our site, we encourage the remaining eligible individuals to seek out first dose vaccines at other sites.”
Town Administrator Aronstein added, “Over the past few weeks, we have worked endlessly to acquire additional allotments of the vaccine for our residents. While we respect the Sate’s decision to prioritize vulnerable communities and high-capacity sites, we’re disappointed that we are no longer able to continue to do our part in the vaccination process. With that said, we urge eligible residents to closely monitor the State’s registration portal for additional available appointments.”
The Baker-Polito Administration also announced yesterday that as part of the latest step in Phase Two of the state’s vaccine rollout plan, individuals age 65 and over and those with 2-plus certain medical conditions will be eligible to book an appointment to receive the vaccine beginning today. The state stressed that due to extremely high demand for appointments and limited vaccine supply, it could take more than a month for all eligible individuals to secure an appointment.
To learn more about certain medical conditions and who may be eligible to receive the vaccine, click here. Details for booking an appointment through the state’s COVID-19 Vaccine Finder can be found here.
For those with additional questions, please contact Public Health Nurse Lachance at firstname.lastname@example.org.