BOSTON (WPRI) — The Baker-Polito Administration announced Wednesday a new timeline for when residents, workers and students in Massachusetts will be eligible for a vaccine.
The timeline shows anyone 16 years and older will become eligible on April 19 — Patriots’ Day — following two older age groups and those with at least one certain medical condition.
Timeline for remaining groups:
- March 22: Residents 60+ and certain workers
- April 5: Residents 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition
- April 19: General public ages 16 years of age and older
The new eligibility dates follow President Joe Biden’s challenge to states to make all adults eligible by May 1.
Baker noted these dates are when people will be eligible and it will take time for everyone in these groups to get an appointment due to the limited vaccine supply.
“We are eager to get back to something like normal and see our friends and loved ones again. The vaccines can’t come fast enough, but it is important not to forget that COVID is still very much with us, and it is going to be with us for the foreseeable future,” Baker said. “We can’t let our guard down, and we certainly should not do so when we are so close to the finish line.”
Baker reminded residents to sign up at the state’s preregistration system that will allow people to be reminded when they become eligible to sign up for a vaccine at the seven mass vaccination sites in the state.
Bay State residents can also register to book an appointment at any of the over 200 public vaccination sites, including pharmacies, regional collaborative sites, and some local board of health sites.
Appointments for these sites become available on a rolling basis and can be found by visiting the state’s VaxFinder website.
State officials say they have received assurances from the federal government that an increased vaccine supply will be available to states soon. However, depending on that supply, the state says it could take weeks for people to be notified that an appointment is available at a mass vaccination site.
In a news release, state officials said this week, the state is receiving a “modest increase” of approximately 170,000 first doses, which includes an unexpected 8,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.
In total, the Commonwealth is set to receive 316,000 first and second doses as part of the state allocation, which doesn’t include doses provided through the Federal Retail Pharmacy Program or to Federally Qualified Health Centers.
On Tuesday, Baker posted on Twitter thanking residents for their part in “making MA a national leader in the vaccination effort!”
The Bay State is currently in Phase 2 of its vaccine rollout plan. Those who are currently eligible are people who are 65 or older, people with two or more medical conditions, people who live or work in low-income and affordable senior housing, and also K-12 educators, staff, and childcare workers.
In the next 24 hours, Baker says the Bay State should surpass 1 million people fully vaccinated.
As of Tuesday afternoon, 946,306 people are fully vaccinated in Massachusetts, according to the Department of Public Health.
Health officials reported 1,640 newly confirmed coronavirus cases Wednesday, and an additional 44 people had died due to the virus.
The data also shows 620 people currently hospitalized with the virus, with 158 patients in the intensive care unit and 102 patients on ventilators.