State Hands Out Leftover Vaccines to Civilians at First Responder Clinic

Approximately 292 civilians received the coronavirus vaccine at the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters in Framingham

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Nearly 300 members of the public received coronavirus vaccines at a clinic reserved for first responders in the Massachusetts State Police Headquarters in Framingham, state officials confirmed.

The Boston Globe first reported that 292 civilians who received the shots over a period of three days in January and February were eligible. Qualified recipients at that time included people over the age of 75 and personal care attendants.

But the clinic was not open to the public, nor were the slots on the state’s vaccine sign up website.

The state insists the civilians who received the vaccines were eligible at the time they were vaccinated, and they were contacted in an effort to not waste doses about to expire. But some have questioned how equitable this process was -- because the site was not open to the public, nor were the nearly 300 doses in question available on the state’s vaccine sign up website.

Massachusetts promised a smoother process for coronavirus vaccine sign-ups Thursday, but many people were left in a virtual waiting room for hours.

At the time, Massachusetts had yet to launch the appointment hotline.

Baker appeared before the state's COVID-19 and Emergency Management and Preparedness Committee last week, where he apologized for problems with the Massachusetts' COVID-19 vaccination portal after it crashed.

He said Wednesday that the system to avoid wasting vaccines has been improved.

“They all went to people who were eligible, but I don’t expect or anticipate that we’ll be seeing that sort of activity or that sort of behavior in the future, and we shouldn’t we don’t need to, we have better protocols now, we understand more about how to handle this,” Baker said.

State police referred questions to the Executive Office of Public Safety, which said in a statement: “[There were] three occasions where extra vaccines remained at their clinic that needed to be administered within hours of the clinics closing, and the Department coordinated with the Command Center to contact eligible residents, 75 and older, home health care workers, or personal care attendants, who could get to the vaccine clinic on very short notice.”

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