Northborough officials frustrated with state’s decision to discontinue town vaccine sites

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NorthboroughBy Liz Nolan, Contributing Writer

Northborough – COVID-19 case numbers continue to decrease as frustrations over the state vaccination rollout increase. As of March 1, municipalities will no longer be vaccine sites for residents. This does not impact Northborough residents already scheduled for their second dose. Northborough Health Agent Kristin Black is working on a regional collaboration for vaccinations to continue to assist residents in the process.

Town Administrator John Coderre said the town’s clinics were able to provide a high level of personal service to residents with mobility issues, who may be afraid or confused or who have issues with getting to a larger vaccination site.

“We are not happy,” he said. “The state cannot step in and fill our shoes at this level. The state mass vaccination sites, in our opinion, are not designed to provide that level of service. We were and we are capable of doing it in an extraordinary fashion.”

Northborough has taken a lead in moving towards a regional collaboration option and the proposal will be submitted this week. It would give eligible residents access to a site that is reasonably close by.

“The fear is that they are just not going to go, and they’re not going to be taken care of if we can’t do it,” said Coderre. “We want to take care of our people.”

Northborough had 32 active COVID-19 cases as of Feb. 22, which translates to a 2.73 percent positivity rate.

The Senior Center staff continues outreach to identify eligible residents to assist with vaccine appointments and transportation arrangements.

Homebound residents, who wish to receive the vaccine, should contact the Senior Center at 508-393-5035 or the Health Department at 508-393-5009. A plan has been developed in coordination with the Northborough Fire Department to vaccine these residents at home.

“We are going to continue to provide the highest level of service as we possibly can as allowed by the state,” said Coderre.