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Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Baker-Polito administration today announced a new, online preregistration signup tool that will be available for the state’s seven Mass Vaccination sites starting Friday.
The administration also announced four dedicated educator days at MassVax sites: Saturday, March 27; Saturday, April 3; Saturday, April 10; and Sunday, April 11. On these dates, the MassVax sites will only offer first-dose appointments for K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff.
Approximately 400,000 school and child care workers become eligible tomorrow to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts. They may receive vaccines from any of the 170 public vaccine sites available on mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.
Workers in this group must use the preregistration system to request an appointment at one of the seven MassVax sites — in Boston (two), Danvers, Dartmouth, Foxborough, Natick and Springfield — and attest that they are a K-12 educator, child care worker or K-12 school staff.
All other vaccine providers (including regional collaboratives) are encouraged, but not required, to restrict their appointments to school and child care workers on these dates, for consistency. Providers may designate alternative dates if necessary. Clinics may not restrict access to individuals who live or work in a particular area.
All vaccine providers (including regional collaboratives) must submit their dates for educator clinics by next Tuesday. The COVID-19 Command Center will post the schedule for all clinics next week.
K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff are urged to book appointments through mass.gov/COVIDvaccine beginning tomorrow as well as to book through the federal retail pharmacy program’s CVS website. The limited vaccine supply may mean that some school and child care workers may not receive their vaccines until mid-April or later, according to the administration.
The administration says the new preregistration system will make it easier to request and book an appointment at a MassVax site at a nearby location when they are available. More sites will be added to the preregistration system in the coming weeks.
The preregistration system will replace the current booking platforms for MassVax sites for online booking.
Eligible residents will complete the online form at mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to request to book an appointment at a MassVax site nearby. After completing the form, they will get a confirmation via their preferred method of contact (text, email, phone) and receive a weekly update about their status. Residents may opt out of their preregistration at any time if they secure an appointment elsewhere.
When an appointment becomes available at a MassVax site, the resident will be notified and will have 24 hours to accept the appointment once it is offered. If an appointment is not accepted, the resident will go back into the queue to wait for another appointment.
To accommodate older residents and others who are unable to use the form, the preregistration form allows family members, caregivers or other companions to fill out the form on behalf of someone else. Residents who do not have internet access or someone to fill the form out for them can call 2-1-1 to preregister.
Available appointments will be offered to residents based on their vaccine eligibility and the availability of appointments at MassVax sites nearby.
Due to high demand for vaccines and limited supply, the administration notes, there are only a small number of appointments for eligible residents, and it could take several weeks for eligible, preregistered residents to receive a notification about an available appointment.
The preregistration system will replace the weekly appointment release on Thursdays for MassVax sites only, though it will not impact this week’s appointment release. Residents should follow the usual process on March 11 to secure an appointment as a MassVax site.
As more individuals have received a first vaccine dose across the Commonwealth, there is a greater need to book second appointments, so the MassVax sites have fewer first-dose appointments available on a weekly basis.
Eligible residents are encouraged to book vaccine appointments at any of the 170 public vaccine sites across the Commonwealth. The state has also allocated a supply of doses to certain health care providers, hospitals and community health centers that will provide instructions to their patients on their vaccine process.
More information on vaccine sites is available at vaxfinder.mass.gov, including locations, hours and instructions to schedule appointments. New appointments are added frequently for many sites.
This week, the state’s first- and second-dose allocations were divided among providers as follows:
• MassVax sites: 83,000
• Hospital providers (both private and public): 79,000
• Regional collaboratives (12): 38,000
• Community health centers: 25,000
• Local boards of health (to complete second dose appointments and support 20 disproportionately impacted communities): 25,000
Weekly allocations are subject to change based on federal availability, demand from providers, and obligations to meet second doses. Providers have 10 days to use their doses.
In addition to the state allocation, the federal government distributes vaccines to CVS Health sites as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership as well as to certain Massachusetts federally qualified community health centers. These quantities fluctuate on a weekly basis and are not counted as part of the state’s weekly allocation.
This week, 95,000 first and second doses have been allocated to the retail pharmacy program, and 19,000 Johnson & Johnson doses have been allocated to the federally qualified health centers.
Individuals looking to book appointments with any of these providers should visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to learn more.
The following are the regional vaccine collaboratives currently operating in Massachusetts:
• Barnstable County
• Berkshire County Boards of Health Association
• Franklin County Regional Collaborative
• Harrington Hospital, in Collaboration with LBOH
• Heywood Hospital, in Collaboration with LBOH
• Lawrence General Hospital, in Collaboration with LBOH
• Northampton and Amherst
• Randolph – collaboration between Avon, Holbrook and Randolph
• Worcester, Worcester State University, Commonwealth Medicine and St. Vincent Hospital
• Lower Merrimack Valley – collaboration between Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimack, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury
• Southern Worcester County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Coalition – collaboration between Uxbridge, Northbridge, Mendon, Douglas, Bellingham, Blackstone, Hopedale, Millville, Milford, Oxford, Upton, and Sutton