Haverhill Plans to Vaccinate First Responders Against COVID-19 Beginning Next Monday

File photograph. (Image licensed by Ingram Image.)

While the COVID-19 contagion rate continues to climb across the state, Haverhill expects to begin vaccinating first responders on Monday.

Mayor James J. Fiorentini told the Haverhill City Council this week the city will receive its first shipment of the coronavirus vaccine by the end of the week. He explained the process.

“We submitted an application last week to set up a vaccination clinic for our first responders. (city Public Health Nurse) Mary Connolly did a great job with this. Her current plan is to go to the police station and vaccinate the people there and have the firefighters come to the Citizen’s Center,” he said.

Fiorentini said the state is also planning to set up a mass vaccination site for first responders at the Topsfield fairgrounds. He emphasized though plans have been fluctuating daily.

The mayor explained the next step will be getting vaccines to the public at large, beginning with those age 75 and older and people in higher risk occupations.

“The next, after that, is going to be phase two which is going to be essential workers, teachers, grocery store workers. We anticipate that this will not start until mid-February at the earliest and won’t end until sometime in April,” he explained.

The mayor went on to say phase three, which is the general population, will likely not begin until sometime in April. He said the order of testing is being decided at the state level and cities and towns will only implement their system.

In a related matter, Fiorentini lamented the fact that almost all federal Cares Act money has dried up and no more will be forthcoming. Haverhill received about $5 million earlier in the year which was used to improve school ventilation systems, help people meet overdue rent payments, provide food for those who needed it and to conduct COVID-19 testing.

With no additional federal money, the mayor said the city must reactivate the One Haverhill Fund, a program where people may make donations. He said the account has about $35,000 in it now, but will need much more in order to help local food pantries and other charitable organizations.

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