Baker-Polito Administration Announces Plan To Begin Vaccinations for Congregate Care Facilities, Updates to Phase Two

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The following is a press release from the Baker-Polito administration & Mass Dept. of Public Health


BOSTON — Today,January 13, the Baker-Polito Administration outlined plans to start vaccines for congregate care settings, the next priority group within Phase One of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

The Command Center also made updates to the first priority group in Phase Two of the distribution plan to include residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing.

Congregate Care

Beginning Monday, January 18, vaccinations will begin at residential congregate care and shelter programs and correctional facilities within  Phase 1 of the Commonwealth’s COVID-19 distribution plan. This will include over 94,000 eligible individuals, both residents and staff, across the Commonwealth.

This wave of vaccinations includes residential congregate care programs, including group homes, residential treatment programs, community-based acute residential treatment programs, and clinical stabilization service programs; emergency shelter programs including homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, and Veterans’ shelters, and approved private special education schools which offer residential services and are approved by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and correctional facilities.  Correctional facilities will also begin vaccinations for staff and inmates.

This week, congregate care vaccinations began at some facilities that enrolled in the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program with CVS and Walgreens.

Congregate Care facilities can vaccinate their residents, clients, and staff over the age of 16 through one of three vaccination options:

Option #1: Program “Self-Administration”

Organizations that have the capability to directly receive and administer COVID-19 vaccines can request vaccine from the Department of Public Health if they meet certain requirements. 

Self-administering organizations must plan to vaccinate 200 individuals. However, the scale can be achieved by partnering with other organizations. For more information, visit the Congregate Care Vaccine page

Option #2: Leverage Existing Pharmacy Partnerships or other Medical Provider Relationships

Programs with existing pharmacy partnerships can leverage these partnerships to administer COVID-19 vaccines.  This includes programs that work with pharmacies to administer the regular flu vaccine clinics, and/or other existing relationships with local hospitals, health care practices, community health centers, university health centers, or VNAs. 

Option #3: Mass Vaccination Sites

Mass vaccination sites can also be utilized by congregate care settings. Yesterday, the Commonwealth announced the opening of the first mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium that will launch on Monday.

The Command Center is working to finalize plans for additional mass vaccination sites and expects additional provider and pharmacy vaccination sites to launch. These sites will require appropriate identification to establish you meet the congregate care prioritization criteria. 

Correctional Facilities

Vaccination of staff and inmates of correctional facilities will also begin next week.

For the Department of Correction (DOC), vaccinations are expected to last for three weeks to inoculate all residents and staff.

The total population of DOC inmates and civilly committed persons is about 6,500 and the total number of staff is about 4,500, for a total of about 11,000.

Inmates will receive their vaccines from DOC’s medical provider, Wellpath, in the facilities.  DOC is also working to establish regional vaccine sites for staff, who will receive their vaccines from Armstrong and Brewster Ambulance staff.

Houses of Correction run by the sheriffs will follow a similar procedure, with medical staff providing vaccines.

Updates to Phase Two

Residents and staff of public and private low income and affordable senior housing will now be included in step one of Phase Two of the vaccine distribution plan.

Similar senior facilities are already receiving vaccines through the FPPP as part of Phase 1 of the plan, so this change will bring the timetable for the other facilities more in line.


email: call or text at 508-315-7176

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