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Massachusetts launches ‘Vax Express’ — a rolling vaccination train that targets hard-hit communities

An MBTA commuter rail train will provide COVID-19 vaccines to communities starting June 16.Lane Turner/Globe Staff/file

The COVID-19 vaccine is coming to a commuter rail station near you.

Massachusetts on Friday announced the latest initiative to help make the COVID-19 vaccine more accessible, particularly to hard-hit communities with low inoculation rates.

The “Vax Express,” launched by the Baker administration in partnership with CIC Health, will bring the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines to MBTA Commuter Rail train stations in Boston, Worcester, Lowell, Lawrence, and Fitchburg starting on June 16 and continuing through June 20.

Walk-up vaccinations will be offered aboard the train, and no appointments are required, though residents can book a time slot in advance through CIC’s website. As an added bonus, the rolling vaccination sites will be offering free food and $25 grocery store gift cards.

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The one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine is available to those 18 and over, and Pfizer’s two-dose shot is available to those over 12. The Vax Express will make the same rounds again in about three weeks (July 7 to 11) to accommodate those who will need a second shot.

About 80 percent of the state’s population has received at least one dose of the vaccine, and more than 3.9 million residents are vaccinated. The Vax Express was launched with the hope to reach more residents, targeting “disproportionally impacted communities with low vaccine rates,” according to a statement from the Baker administration.

Keolis, the MBTA’s commuter rail operating partner, will provide train crews and other resources to operate the Vax Express.

Here’s a look at the full train schedule:

June 16: Mattapan and Boston

Blue Hill Ave. Station on the Fairmount line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

South Station, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

June 17: Worcester

Worcester’s Union Station on the Worcester line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 18: Lowell and Boston

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Lowell Station on the Lowell line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. North Station, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

June 19: Lawrence

Lawrence Station on the Haverhill line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

June 20: Fitchburg

Fitchburg Station on the Fitchburg line, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.



Brittany Bowker can be reached at brittany.bowker@globe.com. Follow her @brittbowker and also on Instagram @brittbowker.