NORWOOD — General Manager Tony Mazzucco and Superintendent of Public Health Sigalle Reiss would like to share with the community the coordinated work of eight communities in the region to provide COVID-19 vaccination clinics for first responders.
The Town of Norwood is a member of Norfolk County-8 (NC-8), a regional coalition comprised of the Boards of Health and Health Departments in Canton, Dedham, Milton, Needham, Norwood, Walpole, Wellesley and Westwood. The eight communities regularly work in collaboration on multiple projects related to emergency preparedness and public health.
NC-8 received a state grant in 2020 to begin exploring a shared services project between the eight communities. As the Town of Norwood served as the coordinator and fiscal agent of the grant, the Commonwealth recently contacted the town about coordinating a regional vaccine effort between the NC-8 member towns.
As part of the regional effort, the towns worked together to ensure their plans would adhere to the strict guidelines for handling the vaccines and that the vaccines would be properly inventoried physically and electronically. The coalition also worked together to determine the allocation of the vaccine doses between each community.
While Norwood and its NC-8 partners planned for the vaccine distribution, the Towns of Medfield and Dover also joined the regional effort. Both communities have smaller health departments, and by joining the regional effort, their first responders will be able to receive the vaccination at an NC-8 location.
“We’ve worked closely with our NC-8 partners on many projects and initiatives before, and this collaboration was especially helpful as we were able to discuss ideas, policies and procedures as we planned this unique vaccination process against an illness that every community has now been fighting for almost a year,” Reiss said.
First responder vaccination clinics will be located in each of the NC-8 communities and first responders of each community, as well as Medfield and Dover first responders, will be eligible to receive the vaccine at any of the eight regional clinics.
Approximately 1,000 first responders will be vaccinated as part of the regional effort. The Town of Norwood will begin vaccinating Monday, Jan. 11.
“I’d like to commend Superintendent of Public Health Sigalle Reiss for her leadership in securing the vaccine for Norwood’s first responders and her work to help coordinate this vaccination program with NC-8,” General Manager Mazzucco said. “The local first responder vaccination site is a significant milestone for our community and we are continuously thankful for the hard work of the Norwood Health Department.”
The NC-8 clinic locations are among the approximately 115 locations statewide approved to distribute vaccinations as part of phase one of the state’s COVID-19 vaccination distribution plan. Phase one of the state’s vaccination distribution plan began in December 2020 and is estimated to continue into February. Vaccines are not expected to be available to the general public until April, at the earliest.
Additional information on the state of Massachusetts’ timeline for vaccine distribution can be found here.