WORCESTER, Mass.—Today, Worcester Mayor Joseph Petty, City Manager Edward M. Augustus, Jr. and three local partner organizations announced that a mass vaccination site will open this month on the campus of Worcester State University. It is the sixth mass vaccination site to be announced statewide.
Saint Vincent Hospital will serve as the clinical partner, providing daily clinical and operational leadership at the Worcester State University vaccination site. The University of Massachusetts Medical School and its health care consulting and operations division, Commonwealth Medicine, will provide logistical, project management and volunteer staffing support.
The Worcester mass vaccination site will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. beginning February 16. Closer to that date, appointments will be available on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 website: www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations.
The site will initially vaccinate several hundred people each day; by March, depending upon availability of the vaccine, the site could inoculate as many as 2,000 people each day it is operational.
“This site at Worcester State University is an essential part of our efforts to get as many people as possible vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus,” City Manager Augustus said. “We are deeply thankful to our partners at Saint Vincent Hospital, UMass Medical School, Commonwealth Medicine and Worcester State University for this collaborative effort to increase access to the vaccine as it becomes available to more and more people in our community.”
The vaccination site will be located at the John P. Brissette Competition Court, located inside of the Wellness Center at 486 Chandler Street, on the campus of Worcester State University. Parking will be available at the north end of the campus adjacent to Rockwood Park and the Burkett Little League fields. Public transportation is available to Worcester State via WRTA Route 6.
“We saw the opportunity to continue a partnership we established early in the pandemic,” said Barry M. Maloney, president of Worcester State, speaking about use of its resident halls during late spring for frontline workers. “Volunteerism and support of the community are mission-central for us, as a regional public university, and we are pleased to be able to assist.”
As the clinical partner overseeing clinical and operational leadership at the site, numerous members of the Saint Vincent team will assist UMass Medical School and Commonwealth Medicine in staffing the site in both clinical and non-clinical roles.
“It is an honor to serve as the clinical partner for Worcester’s COVID-19 vaccination site,” said Carolyn Jackson, Chief Executive Office of Saint Vincent Hospital. “The team at Saint Vincent Hospital has already successfully administered almost 6,000 vaccines. We look forward to bringing our vaccination clinic expertise to this partnership and contribute to expanding COVID vaccine access throughout Worcester and beyond.”
In addition to logistical and project management support, Commonwealth Medicine has created an online portal to register volunteers interested in helping at Worcester’s mass vaccination site. Potential volunteers can visit commed.umassmed.edu to learn more and register.
“We are honored to lead this essential mission with our partners,” said Lisa Colombo, DNP, MHA, RN, Executive Vice Chancellor of Commonwealth Medicine. “Our collective goal is the health of our community and making sure everyone receives a vaccine as soon as they are eligible.”
Hundreds of nursing, medical and graduate students at UMass Medical School have already volunteered to administer vaccines and help staff the Worcester mass vaccination site. In a pilot of the Vaccine Corps which began in early January, UMass Medical School students have worked under the direction of the Worcester Department of Public Health to inoculate first responders at the Worcester Senior Center, residents of homeless shelters and other vulnerable populations. The Vaccine Corps concept is expected to expand with the goal of recruiting volunteers in communities across the commonwealth.
“Efficient, timely and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines is paramount,” said Michael F. Collins, MD, Chancellor of UMass Medical School. “I am proud that our colleagues at Commonwealth Medicine and hundreds of our students are dedicated to ensuring that vulnerable people and the general population will be able to receive vaccines in the months ahead.”
Massachusetts residents are encouraged to find vaccination sites near them by logging onto the commonwealth’s website: www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations.