State Expands Vaccine Eligibility To Those 65 And Over Or With Multiple Underlying Medical Conditions

Waiting area for vaccine clinic at UMass Amherst. Photo: WWLP. Creative commons

Source: mass.gov

The Baker-Polito Administration announced on Wednesday (2/17) that  individuals ages 65 and over and those with 2+ certain medical conditions, including Asthma, can visit www.mass.gov/covidvaccine to start booking an appointment for vaccine beginning February 18. 

With this announcement, almost 1 million individuals are newly eligible for vaccine.

Due to extremely high demand for appointments and limited vaccine supply, it could take more than a month for all eligible individuals to secure an available appointment, unless federal supply significantly increases. Recently, Massachusetts has been receiving approximately 110,000 first doses per week from the federal government. Residents are encouraged to keep checking the website as appointments are added on a rolling basis.   

Individuals 65 And Over:
Individuals 65 and over, including residents and staff of low income and affordable public and private senior housing are eligible to receive vaccine effective February 18. 

Residents and staff of low income and affordable public and private senior housing can learn more about vaccination options here.

Individuals With 2+ Certain Medical Conditions
Individuals 16 and older with two or more of certain medical conditions (defined below) are eligible for vaccine, effective February 18.

In concert with CDC guidelines, the Commonwealth has adopted the list of conditions that cause individuals to be at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Massachusetts has also identified moderate to severe asthma as an eligible medical condition.

Phase 2 Eligible Conditions:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Learn more from CDC: COVID-19: People with Certain Medical Conditions

Mass Vaccination Appointments
Beginning Thursday morning (2/18), over 70,000 appointments are scheduled to be posted at mass vaccination sites (Eastfield Mall in Springfield, Double Tree Hotel in Danvers, Fenway Park in Boston and Gillette Stadium in Foxboro).

Details for booking can be found via the COVID-19 Vaccine Finder, which enables residents to search for a vaccination location and view appointment availability before scheduling. The tool can be accessed via the state’s vaccination website at www.mass.gov/COVIDvaccine or directly at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov.

Individuals who are unable to access appointments via the internet can call 211 and follow the prompts for vaccine appointments. 

There are currently over 170 vaccination locations across the Commonwealth. Currently, almost 95% of our population lives within a 45-minute drive of a mass vaccination site or within 30 minutes of a regional (high volume site) – not counting the pharmacies, provider and community health center vaccination sites. 

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