Haverhill received 800 doses of COVID-19 vaccine last week, and appointments were immediately scheduled for residents 75 and older.
The 75-and-older bracket is the first group eligible for the vaccine under Phase 2 of the timeline set by Gov. Charlie Baker and the state Department of Public Health.
Vaccination clinics were scheduled forMonday and Friday of this week from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at DiBurro's Function Facility, 887 Boston Road.
Mayor James Fiorentini said appointments were required and could be made by calling 978-374-2390 or visiting the Trinity EMS website at https://tinyurl.com/ijqzfakd. A link to that website was also available on the mayor's official Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CityOfHaverhillMayorsOffice.
Fiorentini said the batch of the vaccine was secured by Trinity EMS and state Rep. Andy Vargas.
"We're going to do everything we can to get everyone vaccinated here in the city of Haverhill," Fiorentini said. "It's going to take a lot of work. We want more doses here in Haverhill."
Two weeks ago, the city began the process of administering the COVID-19 vaccine to people 75 and older under the state's Phase 2.
After the first shipment of 100 shots of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Haverhill and was announced Feb. 3, all 100 online appointment slots were taken within an hour and a half. The first clinic was held Feb. 5 at the Citizens Center.
Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito helped the city obtain last week's 800 doses of the vaccine, Fiorentini said, but most of the credit goes to Rep. Andy Vargas.
"He went out of his way to help us," the mayor said.
The new caretaker allowance enacted recently by the governor does not apply to vaccination sites in Haverhill, the mayor said. The caretaker allowance makes it possible, in many cases, for someone such as a family member who transports a person 75 or older to receive a vaccine to also get the shot themselves. That can only happen at certain designated sites such as Fenway Park.
Before residents 75 and older began receiving the vaccine, the first people eligible to be vaccinated were health care providers, public safety workers and first responders.
The next groups who will qualify after the 75-and-older group are people ages 65 to 75 and those with two underlying illnesses. The state has not yet announced a timeline for vaccinations for those groups.
People in the first phase who have not yet received the vaccine continue to be eligible for it.