Gov. Baker in Area Visit Says Haverhill to Host Permanent COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic

Among those participating were, from left, Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Lawrence Housing Authority Executive Director Efrain Rolon, Gov. Charlie Baker, Mayor Kendrys Vasquez and state Senator Barry Finegold. (Courtesy photograph.)

Haverhill will soon be receiving a permanent COVID-19 vaccination clinic staffed by Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.

The announcement came Thursday as Gov. Charlie Baker visited a Lawrence effort where the Health Center is teaming with the Lawrence Housing Authority to bring vaccinations directly to residents.

“Lawrence Family Health Center has distributed over 12,000 vaccines to date and are now doing close to a thousand shots a day and expect that number to increase over the next three or four weeks as they operate sites in Lawrence, Methuen and soon to be in Haverhill,” Baker said.

The Haverhill site bolsters other effort, including mobile and pop-up clinics provided by the agency that recently opened Haverhill Family Health Center on Main Street. Health Center President and CEO John M. Silva used the opportunity to give a progress report.

“Our highest week was last week where Greater Lawrence Family Health Center provided 5,000 vaccinations. We’re the little engine that could and we continue to chug along and we’re getting better as we move,” he said.

Silva added the Health Center is also providing for homeless and homebound residents through, as examples, pop up clinics in Haverhill and North Andover in conjunction with local governments and housing agencies. Next, he said, educators that are newly eligible to receive the vaccine will be accommodated. He thanked the Baker administration for its efforts.

“They may be dealing with the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, but they keep striving along with thousands of people throughout the Commonwealth to get as many vaccines and as many services as possible to as many people as soon as is humanly possible,” Silva said.

The governor said Massachusetts is number one in providing first vaccine doses per capita among 24 states with more than five million people and in the top 10 among all states. He added the Commonwealth ranks second among states for the percentage of black residents who have received at least one dose. “We know there’s much more work to do in communities of color and that’s part of the reason why we were here today,” Baker said.

Next week, the governor said the Lower Merrimack Valley Regional Collaborative begins with vaccines administered through health departments in Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury.

Besides Baker and Silva, others taking part were Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders and Lawrence Mayor Kendrys Vasquez.

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