Southcoast Health to set up vaccine clinic at VF Outlet

Feb 2, 2021

The number of vaccine doses to be given out by Southcoast Health at its three sites next week has been updated from 2,500 to 2,700.

Dartmouth will be getting another Covid-19 vaccination site, as Southcoast Health announced on Feb. 2 it will be setting up a clinic at the old VF Outlet on Faunce Corner Road starting next week.

The Southcoast clinic will start serving residents aged 75 and older in the Greater New Bedford area on Feb. 9, with other groups to follow as they become eligible.

The news comes after a Board of Health announcement that a state-sponsored clinic will be set up at the Dartmouth High School in early February. 

Both clinics will be by appointment only. Although a date has not yet been set for the town-run clinic, an update is expected by the end of the day on Feb. 3 at the town website’s Covid-19 vaccination page.

The Southcoast Health clinic will begin by serving any nearby residents aged 75 or older -- even if they do not have a Southcoast Health primary care physician -- and will expand vaccine eligibility to more people over time, per state guidance.

As vaccines are available, eligible people who have signed up for Southcoast’s MyChart will be randomly selected to be asked to schedule an appointment. Vaccinations will be administered by appointment only. 

Those interested in getting vaccinated can sign up for the MyChart portal, which automatically adds people to Southcoast’s list of prospective vaccine recipients, at mychart.southcoast.org/mychart/signup.

Current Southcoast patients who are 75 years or older and are unable to sign up for MyChart can expect to receive a call about scheduling a vaccination appointment.

For more detailed information about the sign-up process, go to southcoast.org/covid-vaccine.

Southcoast spokesperson Shawn Badgley said that some patients may be contacted as early as this week to schedule their appointments for next Tuesday.

If technology is a barrier, he added, the healthcare provider will also reach out to patients to help them book appointments — but emphasized that patients should not call their doctor to ask for an appointment. 

“We just want the community to understand that our offices are not currently capable of scheduling [them],” he said. “They’re experiencing an incredibly high call volume right now.”

The Southcoast facility will be one of three regional vaccination stations run by the healthcare provider, including one in Fall River starting Feb. 8 and another in Wareham starting Feb. 9. 

Badgley said that Southcoast Health hopes to give 2,700 doses in the first three days.

“Basically the mandate is to use 80% of the doses to be eligible for doses the next week,” he noted. “We’re not going to have a lot of doses on hand...We’re just going to take it week by week. The more supply we can get, the more residents of southeastern Massachusetts we can vaccinate.”

“Right now it’s really about scaling up,” he added. “Hopefully in a few weeks, we’ll go from vaccinating 2,500 people to vaccinating 25,000 people per week!”

Currently only residents aged 75+ are eligible for the vaccine.

But later in Phase 2 of the state’s rollout plan, eligible groups will include those aged 65 and over, those with two or more comorbidities, residents of shelters and elder housing, and essential workers.

Those eligible for the vaccine can find limited appointments at other providers around the state using the state’s website mass.gov/CovidVaccineMap.

More information on Phase 2 and the Covid-19 vaccine can be found at mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-vaccination-phases#phase-2-.