Walk-in vaccine appointments available in Worcester as clinic tries to reduce vaccine waste

BOSTON — Thiago Santos, owner of Team Link Martial Arts in Marlborough, wasn’t planning on getting vaccinated today. He was just happened to be driving by.

“When I was driving over here and I passed by, then it was easy, just get into the place and was able to get a shot,” said Santos.

He’s only one of a few on Monday taking advantage of the opportunity at the free vaccination clinic provided by UMass Memorial Health.

“It was quick,” said Santos.

At the Mercantile Center in Worcester, empty seats. What was once a packed plaza is now quiet.

“It’s sad actually, I think we are down probably about 45 percent. We were getting close to 600 a day, and now some days we struggle to get to 300. And that’s offering walk-ins every day 8:30-4:30,” said Candra Szymanski, clinical supervisor vaccination clinic at UMass Memorial Health

Not knowing how many people might show up for no-appointment vaccination makes managing the vaccine supply a highly choregraphed dance. Not wasting one dose is a daily goal.

“That’s why we stop at 4:30 p.m. and then we go vial by vial as we get toward to the end of the evening and cross our fingers that we get down to one or two doses,” said Szymanski.

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