Although the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out has had a bit of a rocky start, Mayor James J. Fiorentini told the City Council Tuesday night he still has a goal to vaccinate 75% of Haverhill residents by the Fourth of July.
The mayor said the city’s health clinic is up and running now but still has a problem in getting hold of the vaccine.
“We’re very frustrated because what we need is vaccine allocation. The state allocates the local public health clinics a hundred doses a week—not anywhere remotely close to enough,” he said.
Fiorentini noted Trinity EMS and Walgreens are also offering clinics. They have been able to serve about 700 residents between them.
The mayor said another stumbling block has been getting information on when and where the vaccine will be available. He said this has been particularly difficult for the city’s elderly population, many of whom do not have the technical skills to navigate the internet.
“My office is flooded with complaints and concerns from senior citizens who cannot get a place to be vaccinated. The only way to get a spot, or has been up until recently, is to be online. Frankly, it’s a ridiculous system,” he added.
Because of those issues, as WHAV previously reported, the city created a hotline to assist people age 75 and up find a vaccination site or, at least, get on a waiting list. He said those people may call the Citizens Center at 978-374-2390.
The mayor said the city is also robocalling residents to make them aware of the helpline.