What We Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout In Massachusetts


Photo: wikimedia commons

Source:  mass.gov

The Baker-Polito Administration has announced on December 9, allocation and distribution plans for the first round of COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Massachusetts which were set to begin around December 15. The state’s first shipment of 59,475 doses of the Pfizer vaccine was ordered from the federal government on December 4 and were delivered directly to 21 hospitals across 8 counties, as well as to the Department of Public Health Immunization lab.

Doses were slated to  be redistributed for access to 74 hospitals across all 14 counties for front line medical workers. The next 40,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine will be allocated to the Federal Pharmacy Program to begin vaccinating staff and residents of skilled nursing facilities, rest homes and assisted living residences.

Vaccine is being prioritized for these groups to maximize life preservation and to support the health care system. Based on information at this time, Massachusetts is expecting 300,000 first doses of the vaccine to be delivered by the end of December. The first vaccines, manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer, will require two doses administered 3-4 weeks apart.

Click here to view the administration’s vaccine website: www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.

Click here to view the administration’s vaccine presentation

Click here for Frequently Asked Questions

While all delivery dates and quantities are subject to change due to ongoing federal approval and allocation, the Administration plans to receive and distribute over 2 million doses to priority population groups by the end of March.

In collaboration with the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group, the Administration designated groups of medical workers, first responders and residents most at risk for serious illness to receive the vaccine before the general population. The Vaccine Advisory Group is made up of leading medical, infectious disease and public health experts as well as representatives from communities of color and representatives of high-risk populations.   

Communities of color and at-risk populations are prioritized throughout the process to maximize life preservation and to prevent serious complications from COVID related illnesses. 

Anticipated Vaccination Phases and Timeline

Phase One (December 2020-February 2021):

In order of priority

  • Clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
  • Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  • Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services
  • Congregate care settings (including shelters and corrections)
  • Home-based healthcare workers
  • Healthcare workers doing non-COVID facing care

Phase Two (February 2021-April 2021):

In order of priority

  • Individuals with 2+ comorbidities (high risk for COVID-19 complications)
  • Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workers
  • Adults 65+
  • Individuals with one comorbidity

Phase Three (April 2021- )

  • Vaccine available to general public

The first shipments of the vaccine are expected to contain doses manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna. While both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are pending FDA emergency use authorization, Massachusetts will not distribute the COVID-19 vaccine until it receives this authorization.

Vaccines go through extensive testing, more than any pharmaceuticals, including extensive testing in clinical trials. The FDA, which approves the vaccine, and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), which will make its recommendation for use, must ensure any vaccine is both safe and effective for the public before approval and distribution.

The infectious disease experts in the state’s academic medical centers have pledged to review the EUA data and provide an independent opinion about their safety and efficacy.

Massachusetts residents should visit www.mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to learn more or contact their medical provider for questions about their vaccination plans. 

See also:

What To Know About Coronavirus Vaccine Distribution In Massachusetts

More Than 35,000 In MA Have Gotten First Dose Of Vaccine
(Boston Globe)

Inside The Chaotic First Days Of The Effort To Vaccinate America
(NBC News)

In Massachusetts, Inmates Will Be Among The First To Get Vaccine
(New York Times)

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3 thoughts on “What We Know About The COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout In Massachusetts

  1. I would like to get the Pfizer vaccine for Covid-19. Vaccination site listings do not regularly say which vaccine is being administered at the site. A search on “where to get Pfizer vaccine in western mass” is unproductive. Where can I find a list of sites in western Mass. that administer the Pfizer vaccine?

  2. Alex, if you go to the Mass Vax site at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov and then click on any of the individual vaccine sites, when they come up, if you look in the right hand column it will say which vaccine they are using. The Eastfield Mall in Springfield is the largest vaccine site in Western Mass and they use the Pfizer vaccine. The clinic at Amherst Regional High School is using Moderna. Good luck!

  3. Pfizer and Moderna are equivalent in efficacy and side effects. I work for Baystate, and they gave equal amounts of each vaccine to the employees, depending on what they had on hand. My son-in-law, who works for Brigham got Moderna from them. As a health care provider, I recommend getting whichever vaccine you can get first. The final information on Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca are not in yet, and they are not available in the US.

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