State To Start Shutting Down Some Mass Vaccination Sites

Four of the state's COVID mass vaccination sites will close by the end of June. WBZ-TV's Kristina Rex reports.

Video Transcript

- --coronavirus pandemic. Nearly 4 million people in Massachusetts have received at least one dose of the COVID vaccine. The governor says the progress means they'll soon start shutting down mass-vaccination sites and focus their efforts on bringing the vaccine to the community. Here's WBZ's Kristina Rex.

KRISTINA REX: The Heinz Convention Center here in Boston is one of four mass-vaccination sites that will close by the end of June. The others are the Natick Mall, the Doubletree in Danvers, and Gillette Stadium.

CHARLIE BAKER: The people of Massachusetts are outperforming the rest of the country by leaps and bounds.

KRISTINA REX: The initial goal was 4.1 million adults vaccinated. And Massachusetts is well on its way. With 3.84 million adults who've gotten at least one dose and 2.6 million fully protected, epidemiologists say we're turning a corner.

SHIRA DORON: Average daily death rate that is as low as it's ever been since the pandemic began, which I'm really happy about.

KRISTINA REX: Now, the state's campaign will change course, shutting down for mass-vaccination sites in favor of smaller, local centers.

CHARLIE BAKER: We'll begin this shift, in part, by providing 22 regional collaboratives with more doses to run their programs, doubling the state vaccine allocation for our most disproportionately impacted communities.

KRISTINA REX: People leaving the state's biggest mass site say they would have liked to get their shot closer to home.

CHARLIE COLEMAN: We're, like, 25 or 30 minutes away. And it would have been a lot easier if I could just, like, go to my primary care doctor.

KRISTINA REX: The Massachusetts Medical Society says this transition is happening at the right time, after the people who were eager to get the shot are already vaccinated.

DAVID ROSMAN: This last 50%, those are the people who aren't getting the shots for a variety of reasons. It may be disability, so they can't get to a site. It may be that they are skeptical.

KRISTINA REX: That's where primary care doctors come in, he says.

DAVID ROSMAN: So if their doctor turns to them and says, I got the shot, my family got the shot, my children got the shot, we think you should, and we know that it's safe, people can hear that from their doctor. And that really helps. And it's the thing that we think that will really help to get us to herd immunity.

KRISTINA REX: And other doctors we spoke to say it's unlikely we'll actually reach herd immunity and more likely that what the majority of people vaccinated we'll learn to live with very low case numbers of the virus. In Boston, Kristina Rex, WBZ News.