‘We are nearly there’: Officials celebrate local vaccine rollout, expanded availability

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Twelve-year old Lauren Staunton gets a COVID-19 vaccine at the DoubleTree Hotel regional vaccination site in Westborough, May 13. Photo/Amy Staunton
Twelve-year old Lauren Staunton gets a COVID-19 vaccine at the DoubleTree Hotel regional vaccination site in Westborough, May 13.
Photo/Amy Staunton

By Sara Brown, Contributing Writer

WESTBOROUGH/NORTHBOROUGH – The MetroWest-Westborough Regional Vaccination Site has been busy vaccinating newly approved youth ages 12 and older. 

The Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC’s) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recently did expand availability of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine to individuals between 12 and 15 years old. 

That immediately sent ripples through local communities, as many children and families who had been waiting for their vaccines jumped at a chance to finally get them. 

“We are nearly there, but we are over the hump,” said health agent Kristin Black during a vaccine update to the Northborough Board of Selectmen May 17. “The response from the schools has been overwhelming.”  

Black said she and her team had seen “a few” days of 900 doses administered through their regional vaccination site in Westborough recently. 

She said she had seen many kids in those lines of people excited to receive the vaccine.  

“The kids crack me up,” she said. “They are ready to be done with this. They want to go back to having sleepovers and playing sports.” 

Black said she believes the regional vaccination site at Westborough’s DoubleTree Hotel will close some time around the end of June. So, she also encouraged everyone to get their vaccines soon. 

Residents can register online. They can also contact the health department if they don’t have availability during open immunization appointment slots.

“We can be flexible if we need to be,” Black said.  

As of earlier this month, Northborough led the entire state in terms of residents that had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, at 77 percent. 

As of May 11, 95 percent of the 65 and older demographic had at least one dose. Ninety-two percent of 50- to 65-year-olds were in the same position, just as 95 percent of 30- to 49-year-olds had their shots. Eighty-six percent of 20- to 29-year olds and 21 percent of people under 20 had received a dose. 

Black told selectmen that she believes the percentage of people under 21 years old with shots will rise now that 12- to 15-year-olds can be vaccinated.  

“I don’t think we could be in a better position,” she said.  

Board of Selectmen Chair Jason Perreault thanked Black and the health department for their work. He said he was happy to hear that many residents are taking the time to get the vaccine. 

“It’s very gratifying the residents of Northborough are diligent to get themselves vaccinated,” he noted.