Some good news - as of today, people age 55+ and people with one or more higher risk medical conditions are eligible for COVID-19 vaccination in Massachusetts. In just two weeks, beginning on April 19, everyone age 16+ who lives, works, or goes to school in the Commonwealth will be eligible for a vaccine.
Late last week, the MA Department of Public Health (DPH) expanded the list of medical conditions that pose a higher risk of severe illness from COVID. If you are at least 16 years old and you have any one of these conditions, you’re now eligible for the vaccine:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
- Dementia or other neurological conditions
- Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
- Down syndrome
- Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
- HIV infection
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
- Liver disease
- Overweight and obesity
- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
- Smoking, current or former
- Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
- Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
- Substance use disorders
Remember, you can now pre-register for your COVID vaccine appointment at a mass vaccination site (Gillette Stadium and Natick Mall are the closest for our district). Go to mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to secure your spot in line. For all other vaccination locations, go to vaxfinder.mass.gov or mass.gov/CovidVaccineMap and search for open appointments using your zip code or click through the various vaccination sites closest to you. Individuals who are unable to schedule an appointment online or are having difficulty with the online sign-up process can call 2-1-1 or (877) 211-6277 for assistance. Please note, appointments are limited due to limited vaccine supply. If you have no luck in getting an appointment, check back periodically to see if appointments have opened up. More information about COVID-19 vaccinations is available on my website at www.beccarauschma.com/covidvaccine.
While I am glad that we are moving to the next group and more people will be eligible to get the vaccine, I also remain very concerned about decisions to relax COVID mitigation efforts too soon and the overall COVID-19 vaccination rollout in Massachusetts, particularly the lack of detail in implementation and the serious inequities in access and outreach. I continue to push our COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Act and urge the Governor to course-correct this rollout. Questions and comments about the COVID vaccine distribution plan and implementation can be emailed directly to the Baker administration at COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov. I welcome constituents to copy me on those emails as well.
As always, if you or any of your loved ones in my district have fallen on hard times during this pandemic, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office via phone (617-722-1555) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). We are here to help. You can also find robust resources to help you navigate through COVID-19 on my website.
Yours in service,
Senator Becca Rausch
Find the full contents for Senator Rausch's newsletter online: https://mailchi.mp/089d048f6017/maearlyvoting2020-13394020?e=0c2c9810fe
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