New mass vaccination site at Hynes Convention Center opens (March 18)
BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ latest coronavirus mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston’s Back Bay held a soft opening Thursday and plans to be fully operational on Monday.
The Hynes site is replacing Fenway Park, which the Red Sox need for the start of baseball season on April 1. The two sites will overlap for a while with Fenway expected to keep operating until March 27.
About 500 shots a day will be given out at the Hynes at first, with plans to boost that to about 9,000 per day, making it the largest mass vaccination site in the state, according CIC Health, which is running the site.
Medical oversight is being provided by the Mass General Brigham health care organization.
CIC says by the time the Fenway site closes, it will have given out about 55,000 COVID-19 shots.
CIC also operates mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium and the Reggie Lewis Center.
The two-shot Pfizer vaccine will be administered at the Hynes site, but that may change later depending on the vaccine supply the state receives.
The Hynes is easily accessible by public transportation and people who drive to the site for their appointment will be offered up to two hours of free parking in the Prudential Center Garage.
The site will be open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. seven days a week at first, with expanded weekday hours planned.
— Associated Press
Public health advocates want a one-time ‘vaccine holiday’ in Boston to celebrate vaccination (March 17)
A group of Boston public health professionals are pressing for the city to establish a one-time “vaccine holiday” in the early summer “to recognize and rejoice in the achievement of vaccination.”
“A Boston Vaccine Day would give Americans the opportunity to celebrate humanity’s great achievement in rapidly developing powerful vaccines to defeat the coronavirus,” the group wrote in a letter to incoming acting Mayor Kim Janey. “The scientists who invented the vaccines, the research participants who tested them, and the health care staff and essential workers who kept us whole during the pandemic all deserve our praise and thanks in a national celebration.”
Organizations and institutions including the Massachusetts Health Council, National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, and the Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions are proposed sponsors of the event, which the signatories of the letter argue would associate vaccination with a day of “entertainment and social restoration” and provide a focal point for vaccine education.
“Holding a series of concerts, performances, and festivities throughout the country would provide valuable support for industries hard-hit by Covid-19 while also encouraging Americans to get vaccinated so they can proudly participate in the festivities,” the group wrote. “It would also create a benchmark for states to complete widespread vaccination campaigns.”
Read the full letter here.
More Boston students head back to in-person schooling (March 15)
Boston students in grades 4 through 8 headed back to school on Monday as part of the city’s phased-in hybrid learning model, before the return to fully in-person learning begins in April.
Students in Group A for those grades will head to the classroom on Mondays and Tuesdays, while their peers in Group B will enter the classroom on Thursdays and Fridays. Both groups will have a mandated remote learning day on Wednesdays.
O’ Bryant prepares to welcome our 7th and 8th grade Hybrid students back to the building tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/lfnbxHUg8h
— John D. O’Bryant School of Mathematics and Science (@OBryantSchool) March 14, 2021
“@BostonSchools is excited for our next phase of reopening this week — welcome back grades 4-8!” the school district said on Twitter.
High-priority students have had the option for in-person learning since Feb. 1, while kindergarten through third graders headed back to part-time in-person learning on March 1, the district timeline shows.
High school students are planned to begin hybrid learning on March 29, according to the district’s timeline.
.@BostonSchools is excited for our next phase of reopening this week — welcome back grades 4-8! #ICYMI here are some recent images of happy students from The Everett Elementary who were visited by Superintendent @BCassellius & Mayor @marty_walsh last week. #BPSReopening pic.twitter.com/DkJhuXdroD
— BostonPublicSchools (@BostonSchools) March 15, 2021