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Milk Street Cafe offers self up as shot in the arm for local vaccination effort

The Milk Street Cafe, which is already in hibernation, made an offer to Gov. Baker and Mayor Walsh today:

We would like offer you our temporarily closed large cafe space Downtown w/2 walk-in freezers & 8 walk-in fridges + top org crew to expedite the #vaccine rollout. Free.




Excellent. Thank you.


It's pathetic how little of the vaccine has been distributed so far.

Massachusetts made the fucking thing and Baker is a former health care executive. It's a small state with plenty of resources. There's no excuse.

I don't care who gets the shots. The more people inoculated, the better.


The holidays are a piss poor excuse for not getting more of it out, but the latest dashboard explicitly says that:

This dashboard reflects the 7 day period containing the Christmas holiday, when volumes were expected to be lower.

Still, as of last Thursday the state was sitting on more than 200,000 doses.

If next week's report shows that we started getting 15,000 or 20,000 doses a day out the door, that's promising. If not, there should be some pretty quick reconnoitering from Beacon Hill. Speed > Accuracy! Get the damn thing out.


To get those shots into arms requires people who are qualified to do so.

The demand for those people is extremely high - particularly the "gig" worker contingent that typically does flu clinics.

Meanwhile, retired qualified people are at risk if they step up.

It isn't a well covered part of the problem, but it is a big part of the problem. Perhaps the answer is to mass-vaccinate retired health workers in exchange for volunteering to vaccinate others.


Is it feasible to train people, like say in the Guard, to do this? I assume no but as noted by many posters, the lack of inventiveness and urgency is a bummer.

The main thing prohibiting non-medical personnel from helping is that if a patient has a reaction, someone needs to take care of that. I'm not sure what the right mix of fully trained professionals with emergency trainees would be to do this properly, but if I'm getting a shot, I don't want to risk not having anyone available who can deal with a reaction if I have one.

Any time I've gotten a flu shot, I leave afterwards vs. an allergy shot where for obvious reasons, you need to wait 30 minutes to make sure you don't have an issue. If there isn't a waiting period and there is the ability to set up a community center or other large public building to have multiple shot givers and some smaller number of trained medical staff, that seems like a very feasible option.

My sister (in another state) who works in a health profession got hers on Saturday. She said that she had to sit and wait 15 minutes afterwards before leaving.

I noticed from the news that New York is apparently having a similar problem - to the point that a lot of doses are about to expire.

So, As BostonDog says: if there is no way to deliver the vaccine to enough people in the first group, move on to the second group before the vaccines reach their expiration date.


We all know Chris Kimball only gets his vaccines from Senegal.

The Milk Street Cafe is a beloved local joint that long precedes Kimball, who just helped himself to the “Milk St” name; his response to the cafe was, basically, “eff you, I can afford 10x the lawyers that you can.”


for the whoosh virus?

Its just important never to let a chance go by to point out what a nasty little weasel Kimball is.


Yes, I take every opportunity to stick it to the pencil-necked geek Q-tip head who pretends to cook like a man.

I’ve seen this suggested elsewhere: schools are mostly closed, use the buildings as large scale distribution centers. And the distribution hours have to be extended beyond the usual M-F/9-5. Dr. Fauci has talked about how in New York in 1949 over 6 million people got a smallpox inoculation in a matter of days in response to an outbreak of about a dozen cases. It’s stunning that we seem to be incapable of a comparable effort.


It's not a bad idea, but there is nowhere to store vaccines in schools if they need to be ultra cold.

Schools have the right equipment if it is currently running and can be equipped with temperature logging and alarm systems.



.... is that the smallpox vaccine wasn’t a simple injection. It usually involved scarification- scratching a drop of the vaccine in with a needle, which took some time to accomplish. Also, since vaccination left a scar, many women preferred to have it where it wouldn’t be visible, like the inner thigh.
When I went to Italy for the first time in 1975, revaccination was amongst the immunizations recommended for travelers. I never had any trouble with shots before, but I passed out while the doctor was scratching the virus in. I wouldn’t be surprised if that happened to some of the 6 million vaccinated in 1947, further complicating things.


It was 1947, not '49. About 5 million vaccinated in 2 weeks, 6 million total in under a month.

But there are differences between that and this, the biggest one being that the smallpox vaccine they had then had existed for a half century or so, and there were more primitive immunizations for smallpox even before that. Yes, there was an incredible effort to quickly produce more of the vaccine, but it was through a known process. That vaccine is also far more stable under storage conditions (both neat and prepared doses), so you don't have to worry as much about it spoiling while you are using it.

The outbreak then was also a localized one, to NYC, not a national and international pandemic, where the resources are stretched beyond thin everywhere you look. And they were able to set up public vaccination clinics in the city and welcome anyone who wanted the vaccine to come down and get it. We do not have the supply to be able to do so with the COVID vaccines right now, not nationwide at least.

And as Swirly noted above, giving vaccines requires qualified people to do that. The same people that have been working flat out since March here treating the sick.

No reasonable person would ever choose to start a mass vaccination program at a time like this except out of the absolute necessity we have that requires it right now. We didn't decide to pursue polio eradication, or smallpox eradication at a time when every damn healthcare worker in the world was working beyond their capacity.

For some background on the 1947 smallpox vaccination in NYC: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/18/nyregion/nyc-smallpox-vaccine.html

Distribute the vaccine at Coogan's with dollar drafts afterwards!


The freezers and fridges need to be temperature controlled with alarm systems to ensure quality.

The labs that I worked in in the early 2000s had to keep documentation and log the temps 24/7. If the -80 or -20 freezer temps rose past a the threshold level (or ramped too much in a short time frame), I got a phone call from an automated system and had to go to work to assess the situation (usually a power blip).