A medically-equipped mobile bus offering free vaccinations to Islanders unable or reluctant to sign up at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital will begin administering shots across the Island this weekend, the Island boards of health and Island Health Care announced.

Planned in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, the DPH-supplied bus will be on Island from Saturday, May 15 through Wednesday, May 19.

According to a Friday update, the bus will stop at the Food Pantry at the PA Club in Oak Bluffs from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday and at the TestMV site at the high school from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The mobile vaccination site will function like a walk-in clinic, with no registration required in advance. All vaccinations, on the bus and at the hospital, are free to the public.

The bus is part of the DPH Mobile Covid-19 vaccination program.

In a press release, Island health experts and medical professionals said the mobile bus aims to widen the Island vaccination efforts, with a special focus on underserved communities, those working full-time and others who have thus far been unable to travel to the hospital for a shot,

“This is the missing link,” Island Health care chief executive officer Cynthia Mitchell said in the release. “All of us, including the hospital leadership which has been so responsive, felt we needed a way to get to folks where they are. Thanks to DPH, we can now make that happen.”

The bus will offer the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine or the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, with plans to return in three weeks to administer second doses to any who require it.

While route planning and specific vaccination stops are not yet final, the vehicle is expected to rotate among key locations on the Island to accommodate those with full-time work or busy schedules.

Bus schedules will likely include early morning hours in the down-Island towns to accommodate workers in the trades, as well as weekend locations in highly populated areas like places of worship and the TestMV site at the high school.

The scheduled also tentatively includes stops at the Island’s elementary and middle schools to accommodate Islanders ages 12 to 16, who will soon be eligible for the Pfizer vaccine.

The rotating schedule will be posted on social media under the @islandhealthcaremv and @covidtestmvofficial handles on Twitter and on the Islanders Talk and Brazukada Facebook pages.

Mobile vaccinations will be administered by medical personnel stationed on board, including Portuguese-speaking staff to reach the Island’s Brazilian community. All vaccines will be stored in the bus refrigeration system and administered at the vehicle’s six vaccination stations during bus service.

In the press statement, Edgartown health agent Matt Poole hailed the mobile bus, emphasizing the convenience and ease of a moving vaccination site.

“The beauty of having the bus is that all people have to do is show up,” he said.

The full schedule for the bus is provided below:


9 am to 11:30 am – Church Street in Edgartown, between the Court House and the Whaling Church

12 pm to 3:30 pm – Brazilian Church stops

4 pm to 6 pm – Oak Bluffs Steamship Terminal


6 am to 9 am – Shell Gas Station (Airport Business Park)

11 am to 1 pm – Up Island Cronigs

2 pm to 6 pm – TestMV at MVRHS Parking Lot


6 am to 9 am – Vineyard Haven Steamship Terminal Area

11 am to 1 pm – Triangle in Edgartown, outside of Island Health Care

2 pm to 6 pm – TestMV at MVRHS Parking Lot


6 am to 9 am – Edgartown Sharky’s

11 am to 1 pm – First Congressional Church in WT Center

1:30 pm to 3:30 pm – Food Pantry at PA Club

4 pm to 6 pm – TestMV at MVRHS Parking Lot