NORTHAMPTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- The Northampton Public Health Department started vaccinating those eligible in the next phase of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan.

Western Mass News spoke to the public health director and has details on the extra safety measures they’re implementing.

On Saturday, the Northampton Public Health Department began vaccinating residents 65 and older and those with two or more medical conditions.

Hatfield resident, 68-year-old Petter Lally, said he’s been waiting to get his shot and says things at the site went over very well.

“I would like to move on with my life so, it was pretty important,” Lally said.

The vaccine site has been up and running since January. Merridith O’Leary, the Public Health Director for the city of Northampton, said the clinic hours depend on how many vaccines they are able to receive.

“We generally have clinics six days a week, and they vary. We could have two clinics a day, a morning clinic and an evening clinic, a weekend clinic,” O’Leary explained.

To date, they have administered over 3,000 vaccines.

“Our largest clinic we’ve had so far was a group of 360 people, and today we’ve ramped up to 420,” O’Leary said.

The goal is to continue growing the number of daily doses.

“Our optimal throughout will be 840 vaccines a day once we have enough vaccines,” O’Leary said.

Anyone who is a Massachusetts resident can get vaccinated at the Northampton clinic. But O’Leary said they are not vaccinating caregivers and those who have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine elsewhere.

“We don't have the type of vaccine amounts to be able to do that, so caregivers need to go to one of the mass vaccination sites at Eastfield Mall or Gillette, and then those who receive their first dose should go back to where they got that first dose to get their second dose,” O'Leary added.

The clinic has also added additional precautions to make the site a safe space for all.

“One of the protocols to double mask because fit and infiltration for a mask are very important,” O’Leary said.

Appointments for the Northampton vaccination site can be booked on their website.

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