As Mass. Struggles to Ramp Up Vaccinations, South Shore Seeks to Simplify Process

While the start to the coronavirus vaccine rollout has frustrated many across Massachusetts, some residents in communities like Braintree and Marshfield are having an easier time

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The slow start to the rollout of the coronavirus vaccine in Massachusetts has left many frustrated. Some cities and towns are setting up their own vaccination sites in an effort to inoculate more people.

In Braintree, officials going hands-on as they prepare for the in-demand shot in the arm.

"We have always done flu clinics, so we would be prepared for any type of pandemic situation like this," Braintree Mayor Charles Kokoros said Thursday.

Inside Town Hall, the auditorium is all set up and ready to go. More than 300 first responders have already passed through, and now, the town is gearing up to vaccinate those 75 and older.

The town is being proactive, having set up its own website for residents to sign up and staffing a phone bank to help those who do not have computers.

"We did a lot of planning before we put this together to make sure we could facilitate getting people registered," Kokoros said. "We took a proactive approach. We made sure we had different means for people to communicate with us because not everyone has access to computers."

All the groundwork is paying off in Braintree. As confusion continues to mount in other parts of Massachusetts, signing up in town is quite simple.

"Very easy, very easy. I went on it, and it took less than two minutes," Braintree resident Bill Zematis said. "I saw the news reports yesterday, and I'm saying, 'Oh my God,' and I went on the website, I thought I was going to be navigating, navigating, navigating, and like I said, it only took two minutes."

Down the road in Marshfield, the town is also gearing up.

"The sooner that people get vaccinated, the sooner we will be able to get back to some normalcy in our life," said Town Administrator Michael Maresco.

Marshfield is turning its fairgrounds into a mass vaccination site, hoping to vaccinate 500-600 a day, six days a week.

"The whole reason why we are doing this is to be able to help people," Maresco said. "There are challenges, but I am sure we will be able to work through all the challenges."

Marshfield spent some $45,000 to get scientific freezers to store the Pfizer vaccine.

"My phone is ringing off the wall, my cellphone, my office phone, the board of health phone, the Council on Aging phone," Maresco said. "Some challenges and kinks to work out, but the bottom line is the vaccine is there."

Quincy is also getting ready, turning an office building into a mass vaccination site. The city says it is now preparing web and phone signups for residents.

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