Workers at mass vaccinations sites share the sobs & smiles they witness daily

BOSTON — More than 1.6 million people are fully vaccinated in Massachusetts as of Thursday. Behind each of those statistics, there’s someone administering the shots. Two workers shared their experiences with Boston 25 News, saying it has been nothing short of extraordinary.

“Every time I show up here, it’s vaccinating however many people are scheduled for that day, and to be able to leave here at the end of the day, knowing that we successfully did that, I think that’s a big driving factor. It makes you want to do it again the next day,” said longtime firefighter and paramedic Ethan Glass.

He’s a Cataldo site administrator and has been working at vaccine sites at Fenway Park and the Hynes Convention Center. He recalled one woman in particular: She was 101.

“She had not been at Fenway Park in over 70 years,” Glass said. “You know, in her depiction of how Fenway used to be back in the day and how now she’s here getting a vaccine, it’s tough to see people’s smiles with their masks on, but you could see in her eyes.”

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Medford paramedic Ricky Cormio said it’s nice to finally see things on the other side of the pandemic.

“I’ve been taking people in; they were all sick and very sad staying at home back in April and now [we’ve] come full circle. Now I’m out giving a shot and helping them get back to life,” Cormio said. “Everybody is grateful, everybody saying, ‘Thank you,’ it’s just a great atmosphere.”

He talked about the wide range of emotions he witnesses every shift.

“There’s all different reactions, some people are nervous, they get worried. A lot of people are really excited. So many people are just excited because they haven’t seen their grandkids or their children in months or close to a year now. And they’re just excited to get that shot so they can just finally see and hold those grandkids,” Cormio said.

“To hear these stories from people and to kind of see how big of an impact it has on their lives, it is pretty special for everybody,” Ethan Glass concluded.

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