BOSTON (AP) — Getting a coronavirus shot in Massachusetts could save residents a few dollars off their grocery bills, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Wednesday.
Starting Thursday, shoppers who get their vaccine at clinics set up outside one of a select few Market Basket supermarkets in the state will get a $25 store gift card, the Republican governor said at a news conference in Chelsea.
“We know these are convenient community locations. They’re very heavily traveled, as anybody who’s ever been to one knows,” Baker said. “We encourage all residents to come down and get their vaccine while they’re doing their shopping.”
The mobile vaccine clinics will be set up at Market Basket stores in Chelsea, Fall River, Lawrence, Lynn and Revere, some of the communities that suffered most during the pandemic. No appointments are necessary.
Shots will be available Thursday, Friday and Saturday and again on June 10 to 12.
Massachusetts has fully vaccinated almost 3.7 million people, but Baker said there is “still a lot more work to do” to overcome hesitancy and to get vaccines to hard to reach populations.
“Get vaccinated to protect yourself. Get vaccinated to protect your friends. Get vaccinated to protect your family. Get vaccinated to protect your neighbors and your communities,” the governor said.
Nearly 7.9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Massachusetts as of Wednesday.
That includes nearly 4.2 million first doses and more than 3.4 million second doses of the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines.
There have been more than 252,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine administered.
Nearly 3.7 million people have been fully immunized — more than half the state's population.
VIRUS BY THE NUMBERS
The number of new daily cases of COVID-19 increased by 100 Wednesday while the number of newly confirmed coronavirus deaths in Massachusetts rose by three.
The new numbers pushed the state’s confirmed COVID-19 death toll to 17,523 since the start of the pandemic, while its confirmed caseload rose to about 661,400.
The true number of cases is likely higher because studies suggest some people can be infected and not feel sick.
There were about 220 people reported hospitalized Wednesday because of confirmed cases of COVID-19, with about 80 in intensive care units.
The average age of those hospitalized was 58. There were an estimated 5,400 people with current active cases of COVID-19 in the state.
COLLEGE VACCINE CLINIC
The Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts will host a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Church Street Center in North Adams next Tuesday, the school announced.
The site will offer a first dose of the Pfizer vaccine, which has been approved for emergency use in those ages 12 and older. The clinic is free and open to the public, The Berkshire Eagle reported.
Minors need to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian.
Second dose appointments will be scheduled at the June 8 clinic.