Speaking at an elementary school in Gloucester, Gov. Charlie Baker, joined by Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, announces that K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff will soon be eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments. (Photo courtesy Joshua Qualls/Governor’s Press Office)

Gov. Charlie Baker announced today that K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff will be eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments starting on March 11.

This group of workers will join the current eligible groups, including residents age 65-plus and those with two or more medical conditions that have been identified as putting individuals at a higher risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The administration also released details on available appointments for the upcoming week.

Beginning on March 11, educators may book appointments at any of the 170 sites currently open to eligible residents in Massachusetts by visiting www.mass.gov/covidvaccinemap.

The administration said the state COVID-19 Command Center will work to designate specific days at the seven mass vaccination sites for educators to get their shots, and that more details will be released soon.

There are approximately 400,000 K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff in Massachusetts. Due to a constrained federal supply and the existing population that is currently eligible for vaccines, the administration estimates that it will take a month for all eligible individuals to secure a first appointment. This timeframe would only be subject to change if the supply increases dramatically.

Vaccine appointments
This week, the Department of Public Health anticipates the administration of more than 250,000 first and second vaccine doses across all providers throughout the Commonwealth.

Twelve thousand new first appointments for mass vaccination sites will be made available to eligible groups tomorrow. More than 45,000 new second dose appointments have also been scheduled at mass vaccination sites.

The number of new appointments (first dose appointments) is less than previous weeks due to the volume of second dose appointments, according to the DPH. Some 7,500 appointments have also been booked by the call center (211) for older adults who were unable to use a computer to book an appointment and required assistance.

As more individuals have received a first vaccine dose across the Commonwealth, there is a greater need to book second appointments, according to the DPH, so the mass vaccination sites have fewer first-dose appointments available on a weekly basis.

A new regional collaboration in the lower Merrimack Valley, including Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury, is set to open next week. Details will be available at mass.gov/covidvaccinemap next week.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine
The COVID-19 Command Center was notified that Massachusetts is receiving only one shipment of 58,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for the month of March. These doses have been allocated, primarily to hospitals and health systems.

Based on information the Commonwealth has received from the federal government, the administration does not expect to be able to order more Johnson & Johnson doses until the end of March or early April. The administration is, however, continuing to plan for eventual widespread distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.