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All Aboard: The 'Vax Express' Could Be Coming To A Station Near You

A large group of students on their way to Jeremiah Burke High School wait as the Fairmount Line Commuter Rail train pulls into Uphams Corner Station in early morning. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)
A large group of students on their way to Jeremiah Burke High School wait as the Fairmount Line Commuter Rail train pulls into Uphams Corner Station in early morning. (Jesse Costa/WBUR)

The state is rolling out a special commuter rail train Wednesday to increase vaccine access in communities with lower vaccination rates.

Gov. Charlie Baker says the "Vax Express" is part of a new strategy broadening access in specific communities, rather than relying on mass vaccination sites, which the state plans to shut down in the near future.

“As we get closer to our goal of vaccinating over 4 million residents, we are increasing targeted, community-based clinics to reach remaining populations,” Baker said in a statement.

The latest state data show just over 4 million people in Massachusetts are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state has one of the nation’s highest vaccination rates, but some demographics are lagging behind.

Fewer than half of all Black and Latino residents have received at least one dose.

The "Vax Express" will be making stops in communities with lower vaccination rates: first in Mattapan, at Blue Hill Avenue Station, and then South Station.

Operator CIC Health says the train will offer the single dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine to adults, and the Pfizer vaccine to teenagers.

People can walk on board to get a shot without an appointment — or book online in advance. Those who get a shot on the train will also receive a $25 grocery store gift card.

The train will stop in Worcester, Lowell, Lawrence and Fitchburg later this week.

Related:

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Walter Wuthmann is an associate producer in WBUR's newsroom.

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