Who is a member?
Our members are the local governments of Massachusetts and their elected and appointed leadership.
The Baker-Polito administration this morning announced the timeline for all remaining residents to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Residents age 60 and older and certain workers (in restaurants, groceries, public works and transit, for example) become eligible on March 22.
Residents age 55 and older and those with one of a specified list of medical conditions become eligible on April 5.
Everyone else over the age of 16 becomes eligible on April 19.
Those currently eligible — in Phase 2 of the three-phase plan — include residents age 65 and older, those with two or more qualifying medical conditions, school staff and child care workers, and those who live or work in low-income and affordable senior housing.
The full vaccine timeline is available at mass.gov/COVIDVaccinePhases.
The governor said the administration has received assurances from the federal government that an increased vaccine supply will be available to states soon. Depending on supply, however, it could take weeks for people to be notified that an appointment is available at one of seven Mass Vaccination sites.
All residents can preregister to book an appointment at a Mass Vaccination site at mass.gov/COVIDVaccine.
Appointments will be offered based on eligibility and available appointments nearby. It is expected that more sites will come online as part of the preregistration process in April.
The governor said the detailed timeline adheres to the original timeline for the three vaccine phases announced in December.
This week, the state is receiving a modest increase in supply of first doses, to approximately 170,000, according to the Department of Public Health. This includes an unexpected 8,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
In total, the Commonwealth will receive 316,000 first and second doses as part of the state allocation. These figures do not include doses provided through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program or to federally qualified health centers.
This week’s first doses and second-dose state allocations (total doses), were distributed among providers as follows:
• Mass Vaccination locations: 101,890
• Health systems and health care providers (excluding community health centers): 99,230
• Community Health Centers: 27,450
• Regional Collaboratives: 40,370
• Local Boards of Health: 19,210
• Retail pharmacies (non-CVS), state allocation: 8,490
• Mobile clinics supporting long-term care facilities, congregate care, affordable/low-income senior housing and homebound individuals: 19,180
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 and must meet specific performance thresholds.
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 federally qualified community health centers in Massachusetts. These quantities fluctuate on a weekly basis and are not counted as part of the state’s weekly allocation.
This week, according to the DPH, 106,440 first and second doses have been allocated to the retail pharmacy program and 9,500 doses have been allocated to the federally qualified health centers.
Individuals looking to book appointments at any of these providers should visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to learn more.
Vaccine Equity Initiative
The administration also announced the release of $27.4 million in federal funds to increase trust, vaccine acceptance and administration rates as part of its Vaccine Equity Initiative and to meet the needs of priority populations. Recognizing equity as a critical component of the state’s vaccine distribution plan, the DPH is working closely with the 20 hardest-hit communities in Massachusetts as they identify their specific community needs, further building on existing support.
The funds from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention build upon current and past efforts supporting vaccination in the communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 and includes partnerships with municipalities, local boards of health, community- and faith-based organizations, community health centers and others to reduce barriers to vaccination. These funds also will provide direct vaccine administration to populations that are not effectively reached through existing vaccine supply channels, according to the DPH.
These federal funds will be used to provide direct assistance with vaccine access, including appointment registration assistance, transportation, mobility assistance, medical interpretation, and other supports; to invest in community health centers; to support municipalities and local boards of health through direct funding of the 20 equity municipalities for vaccine clinics and acceptance; to help tailor community outreach and education; and for direct vaccine administration in community settings.
These activities will build on DPH-supported initiatives already in progress. Activities already underway include the DPH COVID-19 Vaccine Ambassador Program, which has assisted with dozens of local meetings to answer questions about vaccine, wide dissemination and amplification of the state’s “Trust the Facts. Get the Vax.” multilingual public awareness campaign, and the DPH Community Liaisons who are meeting weekly with representatives from the communities to identify and lift barriers to vaccine access and support community-based solutions.
The Vaccine Equity Initiative focuses on 20 cities and towns with the greatest COVID-19 case burden, taking into account social determinants of health and the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC). These communities are Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield and Worcester.