SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- We are Your Vaccine Authority and Friday, we took part in a National Day of Action. Western Mass News, along with the National Association of Broadcasters, drawing attention to the vaccination effort with exactly one month left to reach President Biden's Independence Day goal of getting to the 70 percent mark for fully vaccinated adults across the country.
With the demand for shots decreasing, many vaccination sites, like the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, are closing.
“Oh God, the first time we came, the line was from there to around the corner when we came,” said Michael Zalansky of North Brookfield.
Zalansky remembers the long lines at the Eastfield Mall mass vaccination site in Springfield back in February when the facility was first up and running. It was a much different and almost empty space on Friday when he joined his 13-year-old great-grandson to get his second COVID-19 shot.
“I just don’t want to have that fear of getting COVID and being potentially hospitalized,” said Jeremiah Vadi of North Brookfield.
This week, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced all mass vaccination sites across the Bay State will close by July.
Dean Shultis, vice president of field operations for Curative, the company running the Eastfield Mall site, told Western Mass News that they will be switching gears and ramping up mobile efforts by targeting the hardest hit communities in the state.
“We will establish two mobile routes from the Danvers location, one from Springfield, and one from Dartmouth,” Shultis said.
Shultis said they will also be joining efforts with Representative Bud Williams on Juneteenth to get shots administered in the Springfield community.
“We will be pushing a mobile asset. I believe in this case we are going to use a van, so we will push it out to the event that they are putting together,” Shultis noted.
In addition, they are in the early stages of planning kiosk stations where people can stop by at their convenience.
“…And so we retrofitted some of them to support vaccination operations. Once we get our plan down, of course, we have to work with the state, we will put kiosks potentially in different locations,” Shultis explained.
Shultis said closing down this site is a sign of life getting back to normal. Curative will continue using the mall space for supply storage.