The following is a media release from the Governor’s office submitted to SOURCE media.
BOSTON – Today, the Baker-Polito Administration announced an expansion of COVID-19 vaccination sites in all parts of the Commonwealth, including new mass vaccination sites, pharmacy locations and local sites. By mid-February, the Administration expects there will be 165 vaccination sites in the Commonwealth.
The Administration also announced updates to plans for Phase Two of the Commonwealth’s distribution plan. Individuals 75 years or older will now be the first priority group in Phase Two, and individuals 65 years and older have been moved into the second priority group, in addition to individuals with two comorbidities. Starting on February 1 individuals age 75 or older can be vaccinated. Vaccination sites can be found on the Commonwealth’s map at mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap.
Vaccination Site Expansion
The COVID-19 Response Command Center has been working with health care providers, local officials, pharmacies and others to set up additional COVID-19 vaccination sites across the Commonwealth, with a focus on accessibility and geographic equity.
As of this week, Massachusetts plans to have 103 publicly available vaccination sites. Between these sites and other vaccination clinic sites (e.g. congregate care, health systems), the Commonwealth currently has the capacity to administer 242,000 doses of vaccine per week. This capacity is significantly more than the 173,175 first and second doses that the Commonwealth expects to receive from the federal government this week.
By mid-February, the Administration expects there will be 165 publicly available vaccination sites. Between these sites and other vaccination clinic sites (e.g., congregate care, health systems) the Commonwealth will have capacity to administer 305,000 vaccinations per week. This capacity is significantly more capacity than the 189,640 doses that the Commonwealth expects to receive from the federal government that week.
It is important to note that the state’s capacity to vaccinate is not the same as the number of shots administered. Vaccine capacity is determined by the state’s plan to establish sites, staff and logistics in place to do 305,000 doses by mid-February. But, the actual number of vaccinations administered to residents depends on several variables, including the availability of doses from the federal government.
The Commonwealth is planning to set up the capacity to administer more doses than we are currently receiving from the federal government. If Massachusetts continues to get the same number of doses from the federal government that the state is getting now, there could be empty seats at vaccine sites.
The Administration also announced new mass vaccinations sites in Springfield, Danvers and Boston:
- The Springfield site at Eastfield Mall will open on January 29.
- The Danvers sites at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel will open on February 3.
- In collaboration with the City of Boston, a site at the Reggie Lewis Center will open the first week of February.
These are in addition to sites already announced at Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park. By mid-February, the Commonwealth’s mass vaccination sites will have the capacity to vaccinate 76,000 people each week. The Administration expects to open at least seven mass vaccination sites as vaccine distribution continues. These mass vaccination sites have the ability to significantly and rapidly scale up operations if vaccine supply from the federal government increases.
In addition to the mass vaccination sites, the Administration is establishing public vaccination sites at a variety of different locations in every region of the Commonwealth. Public vaccination sites listed on the map include places like pharmacies, community clinics, and other providers and organizations that have experience administering vaccines efficiently and safely. This week, 44 new public vaccination sites will open. These include new pharmacy and retail locations such as Big Y, Wegmans, Price Chopper, Retail Business Services at Hannaford and Stop and Shop Pharmacies, and CVS Health.
While many sites across the Commonwealth are open to all eligible individuals, some sites will be operated by local communities specifically for the residents in their community or the residents in their region. This week, 11 new restricted vaccination sites will open.
A map with all locations is available at mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap. Each location has additional details on eligible groups and signup details. The map is updated frequently as more sites come online.
Phase Two Priority Group Updates
The Administration announced updates to Phase Two of the distribution plan, which will begin February 1st for the first priority group. Individuals 75 and older will now be the first priority group in Phase Two.
Consistent with CDC guidance, individuals 65 and older and individuals with 2 or more comorbidities will now be the second priority group.
Later this month, individuals age 65 or older and individuals with 2 or more comorbidities will be eligible to get the vaccine. The exact date will depend on the vaccine supply from the federal government and the uptake and demand for vaccine appointments.
Along with the addition of individuals age 65 and older into part 2 of Phase Two, the Commonwealth updated the listing to no longer specifically list Public and Private low income and affordable senior housing as its own category, as all individuals over the age of 65 will be eligible to receive vaccine by part 2 of Phase Two regardless of where they live.
The order of Phase Two will now be:
- Individuals 75+
- Individuals 65+ or with 2+ comorbidities
- Early education and K-12 workers, transit, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works, and public health workers, and
- Individuals with one comorbidity.
All Phase One eligible priority groups are now eligible for vaccinations, which includes all health care workers, residents and staff of long term care facilities, and congregate care facilities, home health care workers and non-COVID-facing health care workers and first responders.
The Administration will announce further updates on timing for other priority groups as the Commonwealth gets more information on vaccine shipments from the federal government. To learn more about the eligible groups, visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.
How to Get a Vaccine
Individuals with questions about how to get a vaccine should follow these steps:
- Visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to find your phase and priority group
- If you are eligible: use mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap to find a vaccine clinic near you