Fenway opens as COVID-19 vaccination site

January 29th, 2021

BOSTON -- On Friday, Fenway Park and CIC Health hosted a “soft launch” of Massachusetts’ second large-scale COVID-19 vaccination site. The Fenway Park site will officially open on Monday, serving Phase 1 priority groups and the first Phase 2 priority group: Individuals ages 75-plus.

“We think this is probably [Fenway Park’s] greatest responsibility that it’s had certainly in a long, long time,” said Sarah McKenna, Red Sox senior vice president of fan services and entertainment. “And maybe in its history overall.”

This marks the second large-scale vaccination site for CIC Health -- a Cambridge-based health tech company -- the first having opened at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro on Jan. 18.

“We have designed and redesigned our workflows many times,” said Rachel Wilson, chief operating officer at CIC Health. “Those learnings have absolutely been applied in our design here.

“And part of the reason that we start slow for these first two days is that we can really look at our workflows and optimize them for the specific environment we're in today and continue to iterate and improve our workflows.”

The operation is taking place on the main concourse, with a check-in station inside of Gate A. Once checked in, participants move up the concourse to the vaccination station, where they are asked a series of medical questions to determine how long they’ll need to be observed after receiving the vaccine. Once vaccinated, individuals are moved to an open-air sitting area where they are observed for 15-30 minutes, depending on their risk level, history of allergic reactions with vaccines and other reasons.

Once cleared to leave, participants are directed to a designated area where they receive a pin and can take a photo in front of the field.

“This is an emotional moment,” said Rodrigo Martinez, chief marketing and experience officer at CIC Health. “It's not just an important medical intellectual moment and we recognize that, and we've designed the experience with that in mind.”

Friday’s soft launch saw 151 vaccinations distributed to Phase 1 individuals. Once fully opened, CIC Health expects to administer 500 per day, with a goal of eventually reaching 1,250 per day.

“I feel privileged, because I know unfortunately there are still a lot of people waiting for the opportunity,” said Lisa Ivey, a health-care worker who was vaccinated on Friday. “So I'm ecstatic that I have my first one.”

Starting Monday, Fenway Park’s vaccination site will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET, Monday through Friday. CIC Health hopes to extend the hours from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., including weekends, after seeing how the initial opening goes. The cost of the vaccine and vaccination will be fully covered by the federal government and state of Massachusetts.

Interested individuals can pre-register at cic-health.com/vaccines. For more information on the vaccine rollout and eligibility, visit www.mass.gov.