BOSTON (CBS) – Meghan Gange is staying optimistic a COVID-19 vaccine could be just days away. She’s a doctor at an area hospital. “It’s all we want for Christmas is a COVID vaccine,” Gange said.
As the vaccine approval process continues at the federal level, leaders in cities and towns in Massachusetts are preparing for its distribution.
“It feels like we’re on the 20-yard line but it’s the hardest 20 yards left,” said Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll. She says the city is using its flu vaccine distribution as a model.
She expects that the city will use existing coronavirus testing sites to distribute the vaccine in later phases. “This is the hardest part and we need to stay vigilant and get prepared at the same time,” said Driscoll.
In Natick the town plans to host its own drive-thru vaccination clinic at its Department of Public Works facility.
Gloucester’s Health Director Karin Caroll says the state held an informational call Friday with municipal leaders about the distribution process. “We learned a little bit more, but there’s still is a lot we don’t know,” said Gloucester Health Director Karin Caroll.
Caroll is confident the city’s past experiences with storing, moving and staffing vaccinations will help their planning team prepare for a COVID-19 vaccine. “Part of our role is to help people understand how to access it that it’s free and sort of the rigorous testing nature of the vaccine itself,” said Caroll.
On Cape Cod, the town of Sandwich has been approved by the CDC as a distribution site.
Town leaders say it is unclear though when the vaccine will be available.
“We’re sort of asking folks to be as patient as they can be as we learn more about what the distribution process is going to be what and when we might receive vaccination,” said Sandwich Assistant Town Manager Heather Harper.