Today the state continues its Phase 1 vaccine rollout by expanding vaccinations into congregate care settings, which includes residential treatment programs, corrections facilities, domestic violence and sexual assault shelters, and veterans’ shelters, among other sites. Approximately 94,000 people fall under this congregate care category. Next on the Phase 1 vaccine rollout in coming weeks will be home-based healthcare workers and non-COVID-facing healthcare workers.
Hospitals across the state are reporting strong demand for the vaccine and are fielding questions from their communities about when they can get the shots. Last week, the Beth Israel Lahey Health system sent e-mails to its patients to explain the state’s vaccine distribution. “We will be contacting our patients individually to let you know when it's your turn based on the state’s guidelines and vaccine availability,” the system wrote. “You do not need to call your doctor's office at this time.” Many other hospitals and health systems are conducting similar outreach and are encouraging people to check the mass.gov/COVIDvaccine
webpage for the latest updates.
Phase 2, scheduled to begin in February, will first provide vaccines to individuals with 2-plus comorbidities, individuals age 75 and older, and residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing. Then a long list of essential workers, followed by residents over age 65, and then individuals with one co-morbid condition can get the vaccine.
The entire vaccination timetable depends on the state receiving enough vaccine through the federal government. Last week, President-elect Joe Biden said he would ask Congress for $400 billion to expand vaccine distribution to meet his goal of inoculating 100 million Americans within the first 100 days of his administration. Also last week, U.S. Health & Human Services asked hospitals, beginning January 13, to add to their regular reporting requirements a new field showing how many healthcare personnel and patients have received the vaccine.