Southcoast Health halts vaccine registration

Feb 16, 2021

Southcoast Health vaccination clinics will no longer be booking appointments for first doses of the covid vaccine, according to a Feb. 12 release from the healthcare system to its patients.

According to Southcoast Health, the state’s Department of Public Health is not supplying hospitals and healthcare systems with any more first-dose vaccines “for the foreseeable future,” noting that the clinic’s supply depends “entirely” on the state.

Those who have already booked appointments for first doses — or those with appointments for second doses — are expected to still receive both of their vaccines.

Southcoast had provided first doses to nearly 3,000 area residents at three sites in the past week, and was prepared to scale operations up to tens of thousands of vaccines per week, the statement noted.

“The state is prioritizing distributing their vaccine supply to their state-controlled mass vaccination sites and other entities administering the vaccine,” the release read. “To say we are disappointed would be a significant understatement.”

A statement from a Massachusetts Covid-19 Response Command Center spokesperson noted that although the commonwealth is distributing more vaccines more quickly and through more locations, the supply of doses from the federal government “has remained the same for several weeks.”

“The Commonwealth will distribute more vaccines to high throughput locations, like mass vaccination sites, retail pharmacy sites, and community health centers until more vaccines are made available by the federal government,” the spokesperson stated. “The administration is hopeful more vaccines will arrive soon for more providers, including hospital systems.”

Once a new Johnson & Johnson vaccine is approved, the Department of Public Health will have more vaccines available for hospital systems, according to the command center.

Massachusetts currently receives 100,000 first doses of vaccine each week, with hospital systems being the largest recipient to date.