Massachusetts’ second-largest city has a new tool in the fight against COVID-19: a mobile vaccination van.
Vinh Ly donated the vehicle to Worcester, his adopted home from Vietnam to the city.
âI just thought it was a good cause to be able to give back,â Ly said. “Worcester has done so much for me and my family.”
The donation comes as the number of COVID cases rises in Massachusetts, including a new milestone reached on Friday: 900,000 cases since the start of the pandemic.
Starting Friday, 16 and 17-year-olds can receive COVID booster shots, good news for places like Framingham, where the school district has seen a spike in cases.
In Worcester, they have seen more than 31,000 cases and 468 deaths, while 57% of the city is fully vaccinated.
“We just keep doing everything we can to get people to use the things that are available to them,” said City Manager Edward Augustus Jr.
Worcester is moving to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible. Queues at clinics are growing due to concerns about the number of cases and the Omicron variant.
So far, Worcester has distributed nearly 30,000 booster shots.
“We saw a [uptick] the number of people coming to be vaccinated, âsaid Deondre Carr, manager of the vaccination site. âElderly people, children, people of all ages. “
Cases have been on the rise in Worcester since October, but the outbreak has accelerated since Thanksgiving.
As the city nears its second pandemic Christmas, authorities vow not to be under-prepared.
“Public health was underfunded and this will not happen again,” said Worcester medical director Dr Michael Hirsh.
With residents of Worcester being urged to get their shots before Christmas, the city is hoping this latest wave will start to wind down by mid-January.