‘Shut Out': Cities, Towns Say They Need More Doses for Local Vaccination Clinics

“Two weeks in a row we’ve been shut out,” said James McGrail, the town administrator for Marion

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As more mass vaccination sites get ready to open in Massachusetts later this month, cities and towns are begging the state for more doses to be able to do more local vaccination clinics. 

Plympton Fire Chief Steve Silva was forced to cancel Plympton’s vaccine clinic after the town received zero doses from the state for the second week in a row. Silva said at this time, they have no idea when they will receive any more, making it impossible to plan. 

“To literally at the 11th hour say sorry you’re not getting anything, that’s a problem,” Silva said. “We’re dead in the water and I don’t really have a answer.”

Gov. Charlie Baker said the answer is supply. The state does not have enough to fulfill all of the requests from cities and towns, and most of what they do have is going to mass vaccination sites. 

“Two weeks in a row we’ve been shut out,” said James McGrail, the town administrator for Marion.

McGrail said the town invested in all of the equipment needed to do a drive-up clinic, only to receive zero doses of the vaccine the last two weeks. 

“So we’re back to square one,” McGrail said. 

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health says the more contagious strain of the coronavirus is likely being spread through community contact.

Hull public health director Joyce Sullivan said the town is receiving 100 doses this week, but it is still not enough. 

“It is frustrating because the most vulnerable people can’t get to the mass sites,” Sullivan said. “We need to get the vaccine. It doesn’t matter where we get it, but we need to get it to the people.”

Dr. Dan Muse said first responders also need to be part of the plan. He is an emergency physician at Signature Healthcare in Brockton and is also working with 16 towns on the South Shore to try and host more local vaccine clinics. 

He said it is especially important not that hospitals and doctors offices are also being cut off from the supply chain for the time being. 

“You’re asking people to go somewhere completely inconvenient for them and if they’re on the fence, there’s not a chance they are going to waste their time going,” Muse said. “If you give us a group and you give us a vaccine, we can knock it off overnight.”

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