north end waterfront health

‘It's Like Christmas': Bostonians Thrilled to Get COVID Vaccine at North End Clinic

North End Waterfront Health is a federally qualified health center. Their North End and Charlestown locations are both open to people who live in either neighborhood.

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It's been a frustrating week for so many trying to book their vaccination appointments, but a clinic in Boston's North End is trying to make it easier for people in their own neighborhood.

Nancy Drinkwater received her vaccination at North End Waterfront Health on Saturday. She has been waiting for this moment for nearly a year.

"It’s like Christmas, it really is," she said. "It’s like the beginning of real hope."

"I am so thrilled because I have done everything, the masking, the social distancing, no holiday galas, so this is a dream come true for me," added Drinkwater, who is one of the million or so eligible in Massachusetts to get their COVID-19 shot.

North End Waterfront Health is a federally qualified health center. Their North End and Charlestown locations are both open to people who live in either neighborhood.

"It’s extraordinarily important," said CEO Vincenzo Scibelli.

Massachusetts lawmakers will be looking into the bumpy coronavirus vaccine rollout. As a million more people became eligible to sign-up Thursday, a sign-up site crashed under heavy load.

Patients are able to call a phone number directly to book an appointment -- meaning no complicated website.

"We’re able to pull up our patients and residents information from our medical records system. We’re able to verify our community members and schedule those visits," Scibelli said.

Arlene Riley got on the phone to the clinic as soon as she heard she was eligible.

"I actually heard my phone ringing in my living room and ran to get my phone and it literally went up into the air and I disconnected the phone and I called back and someone said, 'yes, I did call you,'" Riley said.

Massachusetts lawmakers will hold oversight hearings on how the Baker administration handled the coronavirus vaccine rollout.

While the statewide vaccine rollout has been rocky at times, this medical clinic is trying to make it as smooth as possible -- even offering riders to bring people to their appointments.

Their goal is to vaccinate 1,000 people a week at both locations.

"Things have been operating pretty smoothly with the Department of Public Health. We put in our request and it’s honored and we get our supply in the very next week," Scibelli said.

The outreach from North End Waterfront Health will continue, as they plan to hold clinics just like Saturday's, three times a week.

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