Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Polito spoke today, April 14, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston. Image courtesy Gov. Baker's office

State announces equity partnership with Red Sox, updates on vaccine availability

This week, the state received 353,660 first and second doses. These numbers include 12,400 J&J doses that have been paused in accordance with FDA and CDC guidance.

BOSTON — Today, the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker announced “Red Sox Week” at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston to increase access to vaccines for “disproportionately impacted” communities. The administration also provided an update on vaccine dose allocations for the week and announced additional regional collaboratives that will now be available for booking appointments on the Commonwealth’s pre-registration system.

Red Sox Week

The administration, in partnership with the Boston Red Sox, The BASE, El Mundo, CIC Health, and FEMA, has kicked off a week-long initiative to boost vaccine access to populations disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Red Sox Week at the Hynes will take place from April 19–25, with 20,000 first-dose vaccination appointments being booked for communities of color.

Grassroots outreach efforts began this week in Equity Communities to fill the appointments. Appointments are being scheduled through grassroots outreach efforts by community partners including the Red Sox Foundation, El Mundo, The BASE, Archipelago Strategies Group, Healthcare for All, and Boston Public Health Commission.

The administration says Red Sox Week at the Hynes is “dedicated to creating a positive vaccination experience that celebrates and honors the diverse cultures across the Commonwealth.” Red Sox Week will include bi-lingual Spanish-speaking staff and volunteers, added Spanish signage to help direct guests through the onsite registration and vaccination process, as well as Red Sox-themed attractions including: a selfie station, Red Sox trophies, socially-distanced visits with Wally the Green Monster, and a raffle to win tickets to a Red Sox game.

Residents who have their second doses scheduled for the Hynes next week will have their appointments honored. 

Allocation Update

This week, the state received 353,660 first and second doses of the state’s allocation. These figures do not include doses provided directly from the federal government to the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) or Community Vaccination Center (CVC).

These numbers include 12,400 J&J doses that have been paused in accordance with FDA and CDC guidance. This week, first doses and second dose state allocations (total doses), were distributed among providers as follows:

  • Health systems and health care providers (excluding community health centers): 129,300
  • Regional Collaboratives and Local Boards of Health: 66,500
  • Mass vaccination locations: 121,520
  • Community Health Centers state allocation only: 21,640
  • Retail pharmacies (non-CVS) state allocation only: 8,000
  • Mobile Clinics supporting long-term care facilities, congregate care, affordable/low-income senior housing and homebound individuals: 6,400

Weekly allocations are subject to change based on federal availability, demand from providers, and obligations to meet second doses. Providers have 10 days to use their doses and must meet specific performance thresholds.

Federal Doses

In addition to the state allocation, the federal government has distributed over 270,000 vaccines to CVS Health sites as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership, as well as to certain Massachusetts federally qualified community health centers.

This week, 130,510 first and second doses were allocated to the retail pharmacy program. Twenty-three FQHCs received 57,610 doses directly from the Federal Government. The Community Vaccination Clinic at the Hynes Convention Center was allocated 84,240 doses. These quantities also include J&J doses that have been put on pause, per FDA and CDC recommendation.

Regional Collaboratives

This week, four additional regional collaboratives will be added to the pre-registration booking system. The Northborough, West Springfield, Palmer, and Northampton regional collaboratives will be available for pre-registration later this week.

Additionally, users now have the opportunity to select their vaccination location before selecting from available appointments. Once a user receives a booking link or code, they will proceed to a page similar to the Commonwealth’s VaxFinder tool. Users will be able to select the vaccination location that works best for them, and then view and select available appointments for that location.

To date, over 1.6 million people have pre-registered using the state’s system, with around 1 million having been contacted with the opportunity to book appointments. The Administration will continue to make improvements to the system in the weeks ahead, to make the process even easier as more people become eligible.