Smaller Clinics in Mass. Say They Need More COVID-19 Vaccines

Local health departments are begging Massachusetts officials for more coronavirus vaccine doses to provide in their communities

NBC Universal, Inc.

As Massachusetts races to vaccinate more people, local health departments are begging for more doses to give out in their communities. They say the state is shorting them on their vaccine orders due to supply and it is making the rollout go even slower.

Sharon officials ordered 1,000 doses last week, but only got 100. This week, they are not getting any doses.

"I'm very disappointed, because we've been told to prepare, and we have," said Karen Waitekus, the town's public health administrator. "But we have no supply."

Waitekus said she has a list of 2,500 residents who have pre-registered for the vaccine and are hopeful there will be another vaccine clinic in town. She is concerned many seniors over 75 do not want to travel to the mass vaccination sites, where thousands of appointments are available.

"We know some of our population won't go to Gillette. They feel like they just can't tolerate it. So I really feel like we need to get it as soon as we can," Waitekus said.

This week, Gov. Charlie Baker said he will not redirect doses away from the mass vaccination sites.

"They are pretty much dosing at the actual level they are getting vaccine, which makes them the best player we have," Baker said.

Brockton Mayor Robert Sullivan is frustrated, too. Even though they have a vaccination site at the high school and hope to open a bigger one soon, last week, the city got less than 10% off its vaccine order.

"Having a higher quantity is going to help our efforts, and it's also going to be about time management," Sullivan said. "It's going to help us get shots in arms a lot quicker."

State officials have said they are trying to be as fair and equitable with the allocations as possible, but the requests for vaccines are almost four times what they can distribute.

Contact Us