Governor Charlie Baker on Monday announced that Massachusetts is planning to close four of the state’s mass vaccination sites in June as the state nears its goal of fully vaccinating 4.1 million residents in the next few weeks.
With the four sites gradually closing, the state will shift more vaccine doses to its 22 regional collaboratives, expand its mobile vaccination effort, and double the vaccine allocation for Massachusetts’ 20 hardest-hit communities, Baker said.
“At this point we’re adjusting our vaccine distribution strategy to be more targeted, and we’ll ship vaccines to smaller scale operations that can focus on particular communities or particular populations,” Baker said at a press briefing Monday.
Which sites are closing?
By the end of June, the mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium, the Hynes Convention Center, the DoubleTree in Danvers, and the Natick Mall will close, Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said at the briefing.
The four sites will “transition their efforts to focus on more targeted ways of vaccinating people at the community level,” including offering walk-up appointments, Polito said.
What about the other mass vaccination sites?
Baker did not discuss plans for the remaining three mass vaccination sites at the Reggie Lewis Track and Athletic Center in Roxbury, the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, and the former Circuit City in Dartmouth, but they were not included in Monday’s closure announcement.
Massachusetts has administered 1.2 million COVID-19 vaccine doses and fully inoculated 470,000 people at mass vaccination sites in the state since the first site began operating in January, according to a statement from the Baker administration.
How will scheduling change?
Baker encouraged Massachusetts residents who are 16 and older to visit vaxfinder.mass.gov, where residents can book vaccination appointments at mass vaccination sites, pharmacies, community health centers, and regional collaboratives.
There are open appointments “in every part of the state,” he said, “a welcome change from a few months ago, when demand was exceedingly high and supply was not.”
“If you’re someone who’s waiting to book your appointment when it’s easier to schedule one, this would be a really good time to sign up and get your shot,” he said.
Here’s a map of vaccination locations in Massachusetts and links to book appointments: