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New Bedford aims to accelerate vaccinations amid COVID-19 surge

COVID-19 vaccine
Stephen Zenner
/
Getty Images
Government health officials are recommending a "pause" in vaccinations with the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

Amid a surge in COVID-19 cases, the city of New Bedford is calling on more residents to get vaccinated and has announced a slate of new clinics in January.

The city’s vaccination rate stands at 54%, well below the statewide average of 74%.

Damon Chaplin directs New Bedford’s Health Department. He said getting vaccinated and boosted is “the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones from severe illness, period.”

The free walk-up vaccination clinics will be offered Mondays, Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays in January at locations around the city. Pediatric doses will be available for children age 5-11. Details are available on the city’s website.

The city has also announced a new testing clinic at the New Bedford Airport next Wednesday, January 5, in anticipation of a spike in demand for tests following holiday gatherings.

The new date is in addition to the airport’s regular testing clinics on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. Tests are by appointment only and can be scheduled through Project Beacon.

In the past two weeks, more than 1,400 New Bedford residents have tested positive for COVID-19.

Daniel covers the South Coast for WCAI. He comes to the station from Minnesota Public Radio, where he reported on science and the environment. Daniel has produced audio documentaries on a motley mix of topics, from the science of sewage to the history of automobile license plates. He holds a PhD in climate change ecology from the University of Minnesota. Daniel is a 2021-22 Report For America corps member.