Circuit City site ceases large-scale vaccination operations
After five months and 76,000 vaccine doses, the state-run clinic at the old Circuit City at the Dartmouth Towne Center officially shut down its large-scale operations on July 13.
“It’s surreal,” Curative Director of Nursing Karyn Rossacci said.
While many of the state’s mass vaccination sites have permanently shut down, Rossacci noted that services at the Dartmouth location will scale down from its seven-day schedule to three days a week.
Appointments and walk-ins will remain available Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Thursdays from 2 to 7 p.m. To schedule an appointment, visit vaxfinder.mass.gov.
“We’re going to be here at Circuit City — and we’re going to stay here in a smaller setup,” Rossacci said.
The change comes after Gov. Charlie Baker announced last month that the state would shift its vaccination focus to increasing targeted community-based efforts.
For its part, Curative Inc., which operated the site since its opening in February, will offer mobile vaccination clinics that will stop at area businesses, festivals, and neighborhoods where residents have less access to getting a shot.
“We can show vaccine equity by going where the need is,” Rossacci said. “That’s where we’ll get that pocket that’s missing in Massachusetts — we’re really hopeful.”
Mobile clinics begin July 14 and offer Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson shots.
At its peak in late April and early May, staff at the Circuit City site administered 1,400 doses per day, Rossacci noted. In the past month, she said that number has dropped down to fewer than 50.
She attributes the drop at the Dartmouth site to the increase in smaller sites closer to where many out-of-town residents live.
With new variants on the rise across the country, and the possibility of a third Pfizer booster shot, Rossacci said the site has the infrastructure and staff to scale back up if the need arises.
“We’ll still be here for them,” Rossacci said. “We’re really committed here at Curative to stay in Massachusetts and support the residents.”
According to state data, 53% of Dartmouth residents have gotten a first dose, while only 48% are fully vaccinated against the virus.
In contrast, larger municipalities like Attleboro and Taunton have first dose rates of 59% and 56% respectively.
To encourage residents to get their shots, the state unveiled a new incentive last month: the state’s VaxMillions Giveaway.
Each week, two fully-vaccinated Massachusetts residents will win big. One adult over the age of 18 will win $1 million, and one teen between the ages of 12 and 17 will win a $300,000 scholarship grant.
The first drawing will be held on July 29, with the deadline to enter on July 22. Those who enter in time for the first drawing will stay in the running for all five drawings (or until they win).
For more information or to enter, go to www.vaxmillionsgiveaway.com.
Dartmouth remains categorized “gray” in the state’s Covid-19 risk reporting — the lowest risk level.