Last week, 97-year-old East Boston resident and World War II veteran Louis Ricci received his second COVID-19 vaccine with the help of the U.S. Military at the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (EBNHC).
Mr. Ricci was welcomed into the Health Center by members of the Massachusetts National Guard and was like a celebrity.
“They were all so excited to see him because he’s a U.S. Navy veteran of World War II,” said Mr. Ricci’s daughter Christine McNamee.
As part of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan, the Massachusetts National Guard has begun providing support of vaccination initiatives.
Last week ten medically qualified Guard members began partnering with the EBNHC to administer vaccines in East Boston. Their assistance at EBNHC is expected to continue for at least three weeks to support four vaccination sites throughout EBNHC’s service area including East Boston, Chelsea, Revere and the South End. The mission is federally funded.
The Guard will continue to make qualified personnel available to the Executive Office of Health and Human Services for deployment to facilities requesting assistance.
The National Guard has personnel with a range of applicable expertise within its ranks, including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, emergency medical technicians, and medics. These individuals have already administered the vaccine to 1,000 eligible Massachusetts soldiers and airmen, and now shift their focus to assisting in clinical settings for eligible members of the public.