Vaccinations Now Open to Those 65+ and to Those with Certain Medical Conditions
The Baker-Polito Administration announced Wednesday that individuals ages 65 and over and those with 2+ certain medical conditions, including Asthma, can start booking an appointment for COVID-19 vaccine beginning today by going to www.mass.gov/covidvaccine. That means that nearly 1 million individuals are newly eligible for vaccine.
However, according to Mass.gov, due to extremely high demand for appointments and limited vaccine supply, it could take more than a month for all eligible individuals to secure an available appointment, unless federal supply significantly increases. Recently, Massachusetts has been receiving approximately 110,000 first doses per week from the federal government. Residents are encouraged to keep checking the website as appointments are added on a rolling basis.
Those now eligible for vaccine include these groups:
- Individuals 65 and over, including residents and staff of low income and affordable public and private senior housing are eligible to receive vaccine effective tomorrow, February 18th.
- Residents and staff of low income and affordable public and private senior housing can learn more about vaccination options here.
- Individuals with 2+ Certain Medical Conditions
- Individuals 16 and older with two or more of certain medical conditions (defined below) are eligible for vaccine, effective beginning today.
In concert with CDC guidelines, the Commonwealth has adopted the list of conditions that cause individuals to be at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Massachusetts has also identified moderate to severe asthma as an eligible medical condition.
Phase 2 eligible conditions:
Chronic kidney disease
COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
Sickle cell disease
Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Details for booking can be found via the COVID-19 Vaccine Finder, which enables residents to search for a vaccination location and view appointment availability before scheduling. The tool can be accessed via the state’s vaccination website at www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine or directly at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov.
Individuals that are unable to access appointments via the internet can call 211 and follow the prompts for vaccine appointments.
There are currently over 170 vaccination locations across the Commonwealth. Currently, almost 95% of our population lives within a 45-minute drive of a mass vaccination site or within 30 minutes of a regional high volume site - not counting the pharmacies, provider and community health center vaccination sites.
LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions
While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.