GLOUCESTER — Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken, Public Health Director Karin Carroll and Fire Chief Eric Smith are pleased to announce that the City of Gloucester has been approved by the state to host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic next week for local first responders.
The clinic is the result of a regional effort by the communities of Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester-by-the-Sea, Essex and Ipswich to organize a clinic for local first responders. The City of Gloucester will be distributing 500 doses of the the Moderna vaccine beginning on Tuesday, Jan. 12, which must be given to each person in two doses, approximately one month apart.
“We are pleased to be able to provide this clinic for local first responders and are thankful for all of the hard work that has been undertaken to get us to this point,” Mayor Romeo Theken said. “This is a critical milestone in our efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic, and this clinic is the result of a regional push to provide a local vaccine site for our first responders. Thank you to everyone who has helped make this a reality, it is a great step forward for Cape Ann and the surrounding area.”
Gloucester’s Health Department is one of approximately 115 organizations statewide approved to distribute vaccinations as part of phase one of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan. Vaccines will not be available for the general public until April, at the earliest. For more information about the state’s estimated vaccine distribution timeline, read below.
“Vaccinating our first responders is a tremendous step in the right direction, and we are deeply thankful to be able to organize these clinics,” Director Carroll said. “We have a long way to go, however, and are still in the very early stages of the state’s vaccination distribution plans. We will continue to update our community as more information becomes available in the coming weeks and months about vaccination opportunities locally. Until then, we urge everyone to continue doing their part to stop the spread and protect themselves, their loved ones and their community from this virus.”
“We’re thankful to be receiving the vaccines from the state and to have the resources to provide this clinic for our local first responders,” Public Health Nurse Hiland said. “However, we are seeing an alarming rise in COVID-19 cases statewide following the holidays, and we still have several months to go before this vaccine is going to be available to the public. We need everyone to wear their masks, practice social distancing, limit social gatherings and stay home if you feel sick.”
Information about the days and hours of operation for the clinic will be shared with area first responders so that they can schedule their vaccine appointments, learn more about the vaccine and conduct all necessary paperwork online.
The City of Gloucester also wishes to share the following information about the state’s distribution plan for the vaccine over the coming months:
- Phase one of the state’s vaccination distribution plan began in December 2020 and is estimated to continue into February. Phase one vaccinations are being provided to those in the following groups, in order of priority:
- Clinical and non-clinical health care workers giving direct and COVID-19 facing care.
- Long-term care facilities, rest homes, assisted living facilities.
- First responders including police, fire and emergency medical services. This includes interfacility transport workers, MedFlight staff, college and university campus police, and 911 dispatch employees.
- Congregate care settings, including corrections and shelters.
- Home-based health care workers.
- Health care workers providing non-COVID-19 facing care. This does not include those who do not come in contact with patients, however. For more information on the types of health care workers included in phase one, click here.
- Phase two of the state’s vaccination distribution plan is anticipated to begin in February and continue into March. Phase two vaccinations will be provided to those in the following groups, in order of priority:
- Individuals with two or more co-morbid conditions, who are at a high risk for COVID-19 complications. To review conditions that may put an individual at an increased risk for COVID-19 complications, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website here.
- Professionals in the fields of early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health.
- Adults age 65-years-old and older.
- Individuals with one co-morbid condition.
- Phase three of the state’s vaccination distribution plan is anticipated to begin in April. At this time the vaccine will become available to thegeneral public.
- When phase three begins, public vaccine clinics will be listed on the CDC’s interactive website here. People will also be able to contact their primary care providers, local pharmacies and/or local health departments at this time.
For more information about the state of Massachusetts’ timeline for vaccine distribution, click here. For more information about COVID-19 vaccines in general, visit the CDC’s website here and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health website here.