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Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Baker-Polito administration today announced plans to close the Commonwealth’s vaccine preregistration system by the end of May for vaccine appointments at 23 mass vaccination and regional collaborative locations.
The administration also announced the expansion of the state’s Homebound Vaccination Program to support in-home vaccinations for all eligible residents who are unable to get to a vaccine site, beginning Monday, May 24.
The preregistration form at vaccinesignup.mass.gov will be closed to new submissions on Tuesday, May 25. Over the next several days, all remaining people still in the system will be contacted with an opportunity to book appointments before closing out the system on May 31.
Residents can continue to use COVID-19 Vaccine Finder (vaxfinder.mass.gov) for more than 900 vaccination locations across the state. Users can also find information about no-wait, walk-up appointments at select locations, accessibility information, and an MBTA trip planner tool. Users can also filter by type of vaccine offered, to ensure that people under 18 or their parents can search for locations that only offer the Pfizer vaccine.
Residents can also call 211 to access the Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line for help booking an appointment.
The Commonwealth launched the preregistration system on March 12. Since then, nearly 2 million people have pre-registered and nearly 600,000 appointments have been scheduled, according to the administration. Many residents preregistered to ensure they would have access to an appointment, but continued to search elsewhere and in many cases opted out of the system after they found an appointment elsewhere. People who preregistered were contacted via email, text messages, and/or robocalls with the opportunity to book appointments.
Homebound Vaccination Program
The expansion of the Homebound Vaccination Program will support continued vaccination of hard-to-reach populations.
The administration launched the program on March 29 for individuals who met specific federal criteria, such as requiring significant support to leave the home for a medical appointment. Beginning May 24, any individual who has trouble getting to a vaccine site is eligible for the homebound program.
Individuals can call 833-983-0485 to register for an in-home vaccination. The registration phone line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and has representatives who speak English and Spanish, as well as translation services available in more than 100 languages.
After registering, individuals will be called within five business days by the state’s homebound vaccine provider, Commonwealth Care Alliance, to schedule an appointment. The administration states that it may take some time to get an appointment, and the quickest way to get vaccinated remains to schedule an appointment at a vaccination site.
The Homebound Program is primarily using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which requires just one visit to an individual’s home. For individuals 12 to 17 years old who are homebound and would need significant support to leave the home to get to a medical appointment, the Homebound Program is offering Pfizer vaccines. Homebound youth are encouraged to register for the Homebound Program by May 28 to ensure that an in-home vaccination can be scheduled during the month of June.
Massachusetts remains a national leader in vaccinations, ranking first in the country for first doses and total doses per capita among states with more than 5 million people, and second in these categories among all states. The Commonwealth is focusing on a targeted, community-based approach to reach residents who have not yet received a first dose.