Massachusetts residents ages 55 and older and people with certain medical conditions became eligible for the coronavirus vaccine Monday.
The group of more than one million residents can get vaccinated, including even more people than initially planned after the state updated its vaccine eligibility on Friday. Massachusetts adopted the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's updated list of medical conditions that are linked to an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, which was released last week.
The full timeline is available here.
Massachusetts has over 300 vaccination locations, including 269 pharmacy locations. Residents 60 and older and certain workers, including transit, grocery, utility, food services, sanitation, public works, public health workers and more are already eligible for the vaccine.
Starting on Monday, residents 55 and up and residents with qualifying medical conditions become eligible. Everyone 16 years of age and older becomes eligible to schedule an appointment on April 19.
A one-time, increased shipment of 100,000 Johnson & Johnson vaccines is expected to arrive in the state early this week. Depending on supply from the federal government, it could take weeks for people to be notified that an appointment is available at a mass vaccination site, according to the Baker administration.
Individuals can learn more about the Commonwealth’s vaccination sites and pre-registration by visiting vaxfinder.mass.gov.
Massachusetts adopted recent additions to the CDC's list of conditions that cause individuals to be at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Individuals with one of the following conditions are eligible Monday, April 5:
- 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
The administration is building a feature for individuals have already pre-registered to edit their submission to reflect the new medical conditions. That will be made available "soon," according to the Baker Administration.
The state's new online vaccine sign-up tool went live last month, changing the sign-up process for appointments at the large-scale sites. Preregistered residents will be added to a waiting list where they'll receive weekly status updates and be notified when an appointment becomes available.
Preregistration only takes a couple of minutes at vaccinesignup.mass.gov to get on a waiting list for an appointment at one of the large-scale sites.
Once an appointment opens up, residents will be notified via email, phone or text, based on their preference. The notification will include a link with a special code needed to schedule the appointment, which expires after one day.
The appointment must be accepted within 24 hours, otherwise the resident will be sent back into the queue and must wait for another appointment.
Residents can opt out of their preregistration at any time if they get an appointment elsewhere.