A select few will get their coronavirus vaccine at Fenway Park Friday in a soft launch of Boston's first mass vaccination site, while everyone who is eligible can start signing up Thursday.
At the start, up to 500 people will be vaccinated per day at Fenway. Operations will gradually ramp up to 1,250 per day as the Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine rollout plan continues.
“Throughout its history, Fenway Park has been a gathering place for more than just baseball, and we are honored to now open our gates as a safe location in the city of Boston for our community to receive the COVID-19 vaccination,” Red Sox President & CEO Sam Kennedy said.
“Getting our population vaccinated is a massive undertaking for our public health and government officials that requires collaboration and support from a variety of industries. We are eager to get our facility up and running so we can all begin the process of recovery from this dreadful virus.”
Gov. Charlie Baker announced the state's second large-scale vaccination site last Tuesday, joining Gillette Stadium under the operation of Cambridge-based health tech company CIC Health in a large partnership with other health and logistics companies.
On the heels of its Jan.18 launch at Gillette Stadium, CIC Health recently reached a milestone of administering 10,000 shots. CIC Health Chief Marketing and Experience Officer Rodrigo Martinez noted that people will need to be patient considering the exceptionally high demand.
“There are, of course, going to be more people in than those numbers who want to get an appointment," Martinez said. "Some will get them the first week, some will have to wait and get them the second week. Some of us, our relatives, even though they qualify, they will have to wait. We’re doing everything we can to open as many appointments as possible, still being safe, efficient and effective in this operation.”
After receiving the first shot, people will stay under observation for 15 to 30 minutes, Martinez said. Folks will be able to book the second shot at their first appointment.
Between the two sites, a total of 20,000 new appointments will become available, according to state officials.
“Mass vaccination sites like Fenway Park are critical to our state’s vaccine distribution process — providing convenient, safe, and efficient access for thousands of residents,” Baker said in a statement. “Our administration is hugely grateful to our hometown sports teams for stepping up to support the Commonwealth during the pandemic.”
As of Thursday, however, no appointments for next week were available for the sites at Fenway or Gillette.
The Baker administration on Thursday also announced that vaccination sites in Springfield and Danvers had made another 15,000 appointments available; and that CVS Health would post 1,152 new appointments daily across their eight sites across the state.
Baker on Wednesday defended the state's vaccination plan despite hiccups in the rollout process, saying high demand is outstripping the state's supply of doses. The governor urged patience until federal authorities can provide a steadier supply of vaccines.
Many residents have complained about the state's vaccination website, saying it is difficult to navigate, especially for senior citizens.
More Coronavirus Vaccine Coverage in Mass.
Massachusetts has fallen behind every other New England state in vaccinations, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.