The first Massachusetts residents in a long term care facility received their COVID-19 vaccines Monday.

According to a story reported on by Western Mass News, it kicked off a process of inoculating some of the most vulnerable people against the deadly virus.

Monday’s vaccine rollout in a greater Boston area nursing home is the first step in protecting vulnerable people against COVID-19. Earlier this year, state health officials said there are more than 700 long-term care facilities in Massachusetts.

Baystate Health CEO Dr. Mark Keroack said his hospital employees will get the Moderna vaccine from now on, as the Pfizer vaccine is now headed to those congregate living facilities where the virus can spread like wildfire.

“Future allocations of Pfizer were put into the pipeline for long-term care seniors and assisted living,” Dr. Keroack explained. “They handed them over to Walgreens and CVS.”

The Pfizer vaccine must be kept at subzero temperatures, and Dr. Keroack said the pharmacy chains are best equipped to store them in large numbers.

Officials with Loomis Lakeside at Reeds Landing said their residents, quote, “will be receiving their first COVID-19 vaccines on January 4. We are elated and are counting down the days.”

Local healthcare officials said they are prepared to vaccinate a different population that's also likely to be infected.

“Right now I know that our role will be to vaccinate first responders,” Dr. Keroack said.

In the city of Springfield, health officials will begin a program called Vax Force soon, a task force dedicated to providing factual resources and information about the COVID-19 vaccines.

For more on the story, visit Western Mass News' website here.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

CHECK THEM OUT: States With the Best and Worst Commutes