By Nick Giovanni

WORCESTER (CBS) – A new large-scale COVID vaccination site is opening Tuesday in Massachusetts. It just will be a bit later than anticipated.

Because of icy conditions overnight, officials at the new Worcester State University vaccination site canceled all morning appointments and some in the early afternoon.

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“In New England, you’re always a little bit at the mercy of Mother Nature, and we met yesterday afternoon and we decided that given it was looking to be icy this morning, we certainly didn’t want people over 75 venturing out and perhaps slipping on the ice,” said Carolyn Jackson, CEO of Saint Vincent’s Hospital.

Appointments starting at 1:30 p.m. should move forward as scheduled on Tuesday.

“We want to vaccinate as many people as we can, as quickly as we can. And the more people we get vaccinated, the quicker we can cut off the spread of the variants,” she said.

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Worcester’s Medical Director, Dr. Michael Hirsh, called it a race between the vaccinations and the variant in Worcester, with more than half of the state’s cases of the variant being found in Worcester County.

“We got to get more needles in arms, and the faster we do that, the less likely that this virus variant will find the host that it needs to keep multiplying,” Dr. HIrsh said.

Jackson added once the vaccination site gets up and running, it should play a significant role in this race.

“We would like to get up to a 1,000 doses a day as soon as supply allows,” she said.

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The appointments that had to be postponed on Tuesday were rescheduled for the same time slots on Saturday.

Nick Giovanni