By Vicki Greene, Contributing Writer
Marlborough – Local COVID-19 positivity rates have remained stable for two weeks. The coronavirus testing site at the New England Sports Center has received an extension and will remain open through June 30. But the Marlborough’s vaccination efforts remain stalled in state hands.
“I’m really frustrated,” Vigeant told the City Council, March 8. “[The Board of Health] hasn’t received any doses for a month now.”
A formal resolution approved and being sent to the state
In an effort to try to push things along at the state level, the City Council recently approved a resolution from Vigeant, “urging the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to grant local boards of health an additional and continuous supply of vaccine[s] to administer to their area residents ensuring a convenient location to obtain vaccine.”
As Vigeant said, Marlborough has not received local vaccine doses since Gov. Charlie Baker shifted priorities, earlier this year, to focus on allocating shots to large mass vaccination sites at places like Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park and the Natick Mall.
Marriott regional mini-mega site still stuck in limbo
While Vigeant pushes the Baker Administration to give doses back to municipalities, city officials and health care workers still hope to open a large-scale vaccination site at the Courtyard Marriott.
That’s a site Vigeant helped set up last month to deliver 750 doses-per-day to eligible Massachusetts residents. The Mayor initially expected to receive approval from the state to open on March 1. But, as of March 8, that approval still had not arrived.
A glimmer of hope at Marlborough Hospital
Sparking confusion in recent weeks, the Marriott vaccination site isn’t entirely dark as it awaits state approval.
In anticipation of a larger operation, Marlborough Hospital has moved its immunization clinic there. Staff are delivering second vaccine doses to patients who already received shots last month.
This week, they will expand offerings further, Vigeant said, doling out an expected 500 first-time doses.
Those appointments will be available to people across the state through the Massachusetts’ VaxFinder website.
Patients who have been seen at Marlborough Hospital can also, however, sign up through the UMass My Charts website and check for availability at any facility in the UMass Memorial Health Care system.
Vaccination efforts continue
Through the confusion, Vigeant told the City Council, March 8, that vaccinations of local “Phase 1 populations” are “virtually done.” That’s thanks to help from local pharmacies and the Senior Center.
Massachusetts is now in Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout and recently made teachers, school staff, childcare workers and those over the age of 65 eligible to receive doses.
Facing the shortage in vaccines that sparked his new official resolution, this week, though, there simply aren’t enough shots for residents in Marlborough to book appointments locally, Vigeant said.