Five Places For Massachusetts To Use To Hasten The Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution

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When it comes to coronavirus vaccines, Massachusetts is not one of the better states at administering them.

The Bay State ranks 38th in vaccine distribution out of 50 states (48.86 percent). Of those 50 states, the only New England state lower on the list is Rhode Island (45.28 percent), as Becker’s Hospital Review points out. However, there are plenty of spaces available for use that Massachusetts can use to get people the vaccine quicker. Here is a look at five locations that are not being used enough across the state:


1.  Fairgrounds

These are large open spaces that oftentimes don’t receive much use during the year. There might be some farmer’s markets at them and the occasional special event, but that is less common in the wintertime. Why not put them to use to give people coronavirus vaccines? The Kern County Fairgrounds in California will be used for vaccinating people, according to ABC23. Massachusetts will use the Big E fairgrounds, but what about Marshfield, Brockton, Barnstable County in Falmouth, and the rest of them?


2. Drive-in Movie Theaters

These are not a common as they once were, but Wellfleet and Mendon each have one. In a regular summer, their shows fit 700 and 800 cars, respectively. Since the Outer Cape is a low-population area during the winter, even vaccinating a couple of hundred people per day would be huge. The same goes for Mendon in the Blackstone Valley region. Outside of Massachusetts, the Transit Drive-In in Lockport, New York (Niagara County) serves as a mobile vaccination site, according to WYRK.


3. School Gymnasiums

A myriad of schools have gymnasiums, including schools that are no longer open but still stand like Sacred Heart High School in Kingston and Coyle & Cassidy High in Taunton, and West Roxbury Academy in Boston, just to name a few. Some schools are not using their gymnasiums amid remote learning, and there are times where there is no school in session. The school district in Huntington County, Indiana will use at least one school gymnasium for vaccine distribution, as WPTA points out. If one public school district can get it done, why can’t the ones in Massachusetts do the same?


4. Amusement Parks

What amusement parks are open in Massachusetts in January during a viral pandemic?

Likely none.

However, they do offer big lots of land and good-sized parking lots that could help people receive the vaccine. Six Flags New England in Agawam, Water Wizz in Wareham, and Edaville USA in Carver are examples.

Outside of Massachusetts, one of the major coronavirus vaccination sites in Anaheim, California will be Disneyland, according to Voice of America.


5. Mall Parking Lots

Malls are dying in the United States. Their massive parking lots represent some interesting opportunities for communities, including housing development.

However, in the short-term, they could be a spot for giving out the vaccine. The parking lot for the Mall at Barnes Crossing in Tupelo, Mississippi, for example, helps that city vaccinate 400 people per day, as WTVA points out.

The Berkshire Mall, Swansea Mall, and Hanover Mall all closed within the past couple of years. Why can’t those lots do the same?