Lt. Gov. Polito visiting Abington vax clinic Friday

Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito will visit an Abington vaccination clinic Friday afternoon planned for the Senior Center.

Town officials confirmed that Polito is scheduled to arrive at the Senior Center about 1:30 p.m., and then tour the clinic site.

Public Health Director Marty Golightly said the clinic is being held primarily to provide second shots to those who have already received their first shots, including many Abington educators.

The state largely stopped providing local boards of health with vaccine doses back in February, opting to instead supply clinics run by private companies. At the time, local emergency planners had been readying to activate mass vaccination plans they’d been directly coordinating with the state department of public health for two decades.

Multiple Abington officials attended a press conference in Whitman in February to publicly question the Baker Administration’s decision.

Gov. Baker told a legislative oversight panel last month that the state approved local vaccination plans weren’t suitable to administer the COVID -19 vaccines.

“I appreciate that some point to plans developed in a pre-COVID world and ask why we chose not to follow them. The fact is that COVID — and the vaccines developed so far to prevent it — present unique challenges that forced us to make adjustments,” Baker said.

“The extremely limited supply, the need for cold and ultracold storage, the prep process, the potential for spoilage and the two-dose regimen were all on-the-ground realities that required a different playbook than the one we developed and is different from the one we would have used to battle an outbreak using a traditional, understood, and widely available antibiotic.”

Massachusetts is now ranked 9th in terms of the number of allocated vaccine doses administered according to CDC data.

Abington has received some doses in recent weeks to vaccinate homebound seniors.

Golightly last month combined a supply of leftover doses from previous clinics in order to offer vaccinations for all public and private school teachers in Abington.

The Baker Administration later sent an email to public health departments that received doses earmarked for people living in senior housing prohibiting them from using leftover doses to vaccinate others.

“In no circumstances should you be using extra doses to conduct public vaccination clinics. Providers who receive doses to vaccinate senior housing residents are prohibited from transferring doses to another provider without explicit permission from DPH,” the email states.

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