Navy giving out shots at Hynes Convention Center vaccination site

More than 200 sailors are helping administer shots at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.

When Anna Wales sat down for her vaccination shot, she didn't expect that the person holding the syringe would also be wearing camouflage and boots.

“I was surprised, definitely. I didn't know that they were a part of this clinic,” she said.

Many of the sailors are from a Navy hospital in Portsmouth, Virginia, deployed two weeks ago to the vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center.

“A lot of good food here. I love it. I'm going to gain so much weight while I'm here,” said U.S. Navy Hospital Corpsman Matthew Tuten.

Tuten, originally from Texas, said he starts by trying to help the patient relax.

“Because most people are at unease about getting shots anyway, let alone by someone in uniform who they might not know is medical in the first place, you know,” he said.

The military deployment comes with additional doses direct from the federal government allowing this site to give 7,000 shots per day.

It also comes with military expertise in logistics, but also with a military way of doing things that civilians don't always understand.

“Sometimes we speak in a different language and we translate and we communicate with each other. And we learn together," said Dr. Eric Goralnick, Mass General Brigham medical director for the vaccine site.

"Initially, we're operating a little bit differently. But over time, we've built up a process and now we're a seamless team,” said Goralnick, who is also a Navy veteran and Emergency Medicine Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital.

The Navy hopes that by the time they set sail from Boston, they'll leave people with not only protection against the virus but also a new understanding of what role the military can play.

“Definitely gave some sense of trust because, you know, that they're here for our country and they're serving in whatever way, whatever they see as their reason,” Wales said.

The Navy says it expects its mission in Boston to last at least six more weeks.