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FRAMINGHAM – JoAnn Morse, 76, of Framingham has not been to a store since March 13, 2020. 

“My life revolves around phone calls to family and friends and a weekly outdoor church service where I remain inside my car for safety. Like many seniors, I haven’t seen my family in many months,” said the Framingham resident, who started a petition to get senior citizens, of all ages, the vaccine now.

In just a few days, her petition had more than 300 signatures.

On Friday, she sent the petition to Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.

“At this stage in life every single day matters,” wrote Morse to the Governor. “Many seniors are not only vulnerable to the virus but they are experiencing mental and physical deterioration from isolation – because they can’t be as active and healthy as they were before this started. Every day I hear from friends and family members ages 60 and above, that have received the vaccine in states across the country. I can’t understand why our state is neglecting to include seniors in the first phase of the vaccination plan.”

The Centers For Disease Control has said 8 out of 10 COVID -19 deaths reported in the US have been seniors over 65, said Morse.

“Seniors 65-74 years old have a 5X higher rate of hospitalization and a 90X higher rate of death.  Most seniors have underlying medical conditions which have been worsened by the pandemic. Seniors need this life-saving vaccine now,” wrote Morse to Gov. Baker. “We need your help moving us into phase one and also making the vaccination sites more convenient.”

Health care workers were the top priority for vaccines in the Commonwealth’s phase 1 plan. First responders and residents in congregate care were also prioritized in phase one along with those individuals in correctional facilities.

Seniors, not living in nursing homes or assisted living facilities, are in phase 2 of the Commonwealth’s vaccine plan.

“We need to have vaccination sites that can accommodate us in nearby locations and address senior mobility issues. Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium just don’t work for seniors – even those living independently,” wrote Morse to the Governor.

“The more we travel and interact the higher the risk of infection,” wrote Morse.

“We are asking you to include us in phase one and create vaccination sites at convenient locations all across the Commonwealth,” wrote Morse To Gov. Baker.

If you would like to sign the petition, click here.

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.