Baker: Mass. ready to begin vaccinating residents, staff at congregate care sites

BOSTON (WHDH) - Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday announced that Massachusetts is ready to begin vaccinating residents and staff at congregate care sites, including correctional facilities.

“Distributing vaccines to our residents can’t happen fast enough,” Baker said during a news conference at the State House. “We’ve made enough progress with our frontline health care workers and long-term care residents that we’re ready to start inoculating the next group of residents.”

More than 94,000 eligible residents and staff members at congregate care facilities, including residential places, shelter programs, and houses of corrections, will begin receiving the vaccine on Monday.

“These facilities are prioritized because they serve vulnerable populations in densely-populated settings,” Baker said. “They are at significant risk for contracting COVID-19. The staff are also high risk for exposure at these facilities.”

Other congregate care sites include group homes, treatment homes, homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, veteran shelters, and approved private special education schools, according to Baker.

The state began vaccinating health care workers last month. Since then, more than 156,000 doses have been administered and in some cases, workers have received first and second doses, Baker said.

Vaccination programming at long-term care facilities is now well underway, with an initial dose having already been administered to nearly all residents and staffers, according to Baker.

“By the end of this week, all skilled nursing facilities in Massachusetts will have had their first vaccination clinic,” Baker said.

First responders starting receiving their initial dose of the vaccine on Monday. Come next week, they will be able to visit Massachusetts’ first mass COVID-19 vaccination site at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, in addition to dozens of other vaccination clinics.

Gillette will start out by providing 300 vaccines per day but it will eventually have the capacity to administer more than 5,000 doses per day and “potentially much bigger numbers than that over time,” according to Baker.

For more information on the congregate care vaccine rollout, click here.

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