The Competition Gym in the Wellness Center will open as a large-scale vaccination site to help ramp up the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines in the Worcester area. City Manager Ed Augustus made the announcement at his weekly COVID-19 briefing, which was held in the Wellness Center on Thursday, Feb. 4.
“The Wellness Center is a perfect location. Obviously, it’s an amazing just-a-few-years-old facility that will help accommodate the many thousands of people who will cycle through here through each eligible phase,” said Augustus at the briefing.
President Barry Maloney said giving back to the community was an important reason for offering to host the vaccination site. “When we were putting together the proposals to build this particular building and gain funding from the state, this community stood with us and said this was an important project for the university and for the city. In part, this is why I was so steadfastly focused in offering this facility to help our community and our neighbors.”
The site is scheduled to open on Tuesday, Feb. 16, and will operate Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., at least until the end of June. Commonwealth Medicine, the health care consulting and operations division of UMass Medical School, is providing logistics support, project management, and volunteer staffing support. Saint Vincent Hospital will serve as the clinical partner, providing daily clinical and operational leadership at the site. Additionally, numerous members of the Saint Vincent team will assist Commonwealth Medicine’s volunteer corps in staffing the site in both clinical and non-clinical roles.
Those eligible to receive the vaccine can make appointments using the statewide reservation portal: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations.
“As our current strategic plan indicates, we are a ‘public institution that takes its public mission seriously,’ said Maloney in a message to campus shortly before the briefing. “Giving back to the region—the institution as engaged citizen, if you will—is part of our DNA. I am pleased we are able to partner with the city, the state, Commonwealth Medicine, and Saint Vincent Hospital to bring a large-scale vaccination site to our city.”
Initial expectations are that 1,000 people per day will be vaccinated at this new site, with that number possibly growing to 2,000 per day, depending on vaccine availability.
In the photo: President Maloney speaks at the city’s COVID-19 briefing on Thursday, Feb. 4., with, at far left, Commonwealth Medicine Executive Vice Chancellor Lisa Colombo ’87, D.N.P, and Mayor Joseph M. Petty.
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I have been been scheduled for my first shot this comming week but the website never put me dowb for the followup shot. Will the second shot be scheduled when I come for my first shot?
Yes, you will make your second appointment while you are waiting the required 15 minutes after receiving your first shot. Volunteers will be available to help.
I have a huge phobia of needles so my doctor prescribed me something for the anxiety buy want to chat and ensure that this site will be ok with that. Thank you. Also would want to make sure I am lying down if possible for it as I am prone to passing out even on anxiety meds. Thanks again!
We are only the host site, so we can’t answer any specific questions related to the process. However, if you let the medical professionals giving the shot know of your concerns, they are sure to be accommodating. There is an onsite EMT who also can help.
I had my second Covid vaccine at Worcesetr State last Saturday and was very impressed with how smoothly and efficently it was run. I am a retired Pediatric Nurse who might be interested in signing up to administer the vaccine at some of the upcoming Clinics. Could you send me info on who to contact regarding this? Thanks, Kathi
You can sign up to volunteer through this link: https://commed.umassmed.edu/vaccine-corps
Are restrooms available for those getting vaccine shots? I probably will need to use one.
yes, restrooms are available.
If I am dropped off at the Main Entrance, how far a walk is it to the Competition Gym. I can use a cane for a short distance but would use my rollator if it’s farther. Thanks!
“Short distance” is a relative term. From the entrance, you must walk down a corridor of about 100 feet. Once you enter the gym, you will have to walk 20-30 feet to check in, then another 30-40 feet to the vaccination station where you will be able to sit down. Then another 30-40 feet to the chairs to wait for 15 minutes. Then another 50-100 feet out of back door of the gym and back to the parking lot.
Hi, I am wondering if there are wheelchairs available there? Bringing someone who has trouble walking and just got portable oxygen that he can’t carry and walk with at the same time.
Yes, there are wheelchairs available.
Will the nurses strike at St Vincent’s affect the COVID vaccine clinic? I am scheduled to have my 2nd shot soon!
St Vincent Hospital has been reassuring us that the strike will not affect the clinic.
Are we able to sign up for second vaccinations while in observation at our first vaccination? Or do we need to go through the state site to schedule the second vaccine? Thanks!
Hi, this is a question you should ask when you are at the clinic for your first shot. Worcester State is only the host site and unfortunately we can’t answer questions related to the process.
Hello. I am a Massachusetts teacher. Is it true that I can come and stand in line toward the end of the day Tue-Sat at this facility and if there are leftover vaccines, I could possibly get one (depending on where I am in line and how many vaccines are left), even though teachers are not eligible to receive the vaccine yet?
No, please do not come at the end of the day in the hope of getting left over vaccines.
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Unfortunately, the only way to get a vaccine at the Wellness Center is to go through the state vaccination appointment site: http://www.mass.gov. We know the system is frustrating, but Worcester State is just the host facility. Check the system often as appointments open up once St. Vincent Hospital determines how many vaccines it expects to receive.
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I noticed that there are 6 slots for available appointments today but no link to sign up. Do you not provide a link for same day appointments? What happens to those slots?
Worcester State does not control appointment slots — you must go through the state appointment site (which we understand is having difficulties today) https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations.
Is the WSU site only available for seniors and not healthcare workers who fall under the phase 1 category? I am not a senior but am eligible to receive a vaccine. I did make an appointment for this Saturday but want to double check this facility is only for seniors. Thank you!
This vaccination clinic in the Wellness Center is being run by Saint Vincent’s, which is following the state’s guidelines for eligibility and is in charge of administering the vaccines. Worcester State is just the host facility.
I am slightly under 75, high risk. Can I get the vaccine now, since some apts. Are booked but no one shows up. I live very close to worc. State. Please respond. I cannot stand over a minute, will there be somewhere for me to sit?
This vaccination clinic in the Wellness Center is being run by Saint Vincent’s, which is following the state’s guidelines for eligibility and is in charge of administering the vaccines. Worcester State is just the host facility. Those eligible to receive the vaccine can make appointments using the statewide reservation portal: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations.
This morning’s weather forced the clinic to reschedule the morning appointments. If you had an appointment this morning, you will be contacted to reschedule.
Hello I am bringing my 79 y.o mom on Feb 12, 2021 in for her first shot. I was not able to get an appointment due to the online traffic jam. Can I get a shot too per the governor’s order?
We’re being told that companion shots are only being allowed at Gillette and Fenway.
Hello, Worcester State is not listed on the portal yet. When will it be added? In the weekly zoom meeting that I attend at WSU, I was told that it would be added to the portal by Monday 2/8. It still is not there. I am trying to sign up an elderly relative. Thanks so much.
Please keep checking back. This process is handled by the state using this portal: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations. The site indicates new appointment times are released weekly on Thursdays.
When and where is the 65 older with medical conditions be vaccinated? Is the Senior Ctr still available to us. When and where can we schedule an appt. Hope it isn’t a lengthy process. I’m disabled will there be a place for me to sit without standing in a long line in the cold. This worries me. Please respond ty
This vaccination clinic in the Wellness Center is being run by Saint Vincent’s, which is following the state’s guidelines for eligibility and is in charge of administering the vaccines. Worcester State is just the host facility. Those eligible to receive the vaccine can make appointments using the statewide reservation portal: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccination-locations. More information from the city can be found here: http://www.worcesterma.gov/coronavirus/vaccination