Massachusetts Residents 65+ Now Eligible for COVID Shot
People age 65 and older, residents and staff of low-income and affordable senior housing, and those with two or more eligible health conditions will be able to get the COVID-19 shot in Massachusetts this week, and shots can be booked starting Thursday, the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker announced today.
The Phase 2 eligible conditions that allow younger people to get the shot now are moderate to severe asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, weakened immune systm from organ transplants, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, and type 2 diabetes, the state announced.
Over 70,000 appointments will be posted at mass vaccination sites on Thursday. They will be posted for the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, the DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers, Fenway Park in Boston, and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, according to a press release from the Baker administration.
The Phase 2 expansion opens things up for about 1 million new people. The news comes as around 50 percent of all Massachusetts residents aged 75-plus have been vaccinated.
On Wednesday local boards of health were informed that as of March 1, the state will no longer provide first doses to most cities and towns running their own clinics. Twenty communities identified as disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including Fall River and New Bedford, will remain eligible to receive and distribute the shot.
Health and Human Services Secretary Mary Lou Sudders stated that 95 percent of Massachusetts residents live within a 45-minute drive of a mass vaccination site. A companion policy lets otherwise-ineligible persons get their shot if they accompany someone 75-plus to a mass vaccination site.
Sudders said supply constraints will continue to be a limiting factor. The state received word Tuesday night that its supply from the federal government would increase to 139,000 first doses a week. That's up from about 110,000 first doses. Still, the state's capacity to deliver shots outpaces supply, Sudders and Baker said.