I've heard from both constituents and residents across Massachusetts about difficulties and frustrations signing up themselves or loved ones to finally receive a vaccine. Believe me, I share your concerns with the rollout of this whole process. Here's a step-by-step guide how to sign up for a vaccine appointment. Also, here's some helpful information about the benefits of getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
AM I ELIGIBLE FOR A VACCINE?
You can get a COVID-19 vaccine regardless of ability to pay, insurance coverage, or citizenship.
The vaccine itself is provided fully free of charge. If at any point you are asked to provide insurance information and you are uninsured, you can skip giving that information.
Health care workers, first responders, congregate care providers and congregate housing residents.
Within this phase, eligibility will be prioritized by risk groups
as listed below.
People age 75+. Effective 2/11, an individual who accompanies a person age 75+ to a mass vaccination site will also be eligible if they have an appointment booked together for the same day.
People age 65+, residents and staff of low-income housing or affordable senior housing, people with 2 or more health conditions that increase risk for severe illness from COVID-19, and K-12 teachers, childcare workers, and school staff.
People age 60+, essential and at-risk workers, including grocery store employees, food pantry workers, and others in consumer-focused industries.
People age 55+ and people with certain medical conditions will be eligible starting April 5. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health maintains the list of these conditions, which includes cancer, COPD, heart conditions, type 2 diabetes, obesity, smoking, pregnancy, and more
SOON TO BE ELIGIBLE:
Starting April 19, vaccinations will be available to anyone in the general public.
For more information on the vaccine distribution timeline, please consult the
MA Department of Public Health website here.
HOW TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT
HOW TO GET AN APPOINTMENT AT
LOCAL VACCINATION SITES:
Step 1: Go to https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/ and search by zip code to find an available appointment. If you have no luck, check back periodically to see if there is increased availability.
Step 2: Once you find an available appointment, book it through that vaccination location's website
Step 3: Fill out a self attestation form. and either submit this form online or print it out and bring it to your appointment.
Due to high demand and constrained vaccine supply, COVID-19 vaccination appointments are extremely limited.
More appointments will be added to the state website on a rolling basis, as supply arrives from the federal government.
HOW TO PRE-REGISTER FOR A VACCINE AT A MASS VACCINATION SITE:
Anyone can pre-register regardless of whether you’re currently eligible for a vaccine.
Enter your personal, contact, and medical information into a Google-powered form at mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.
This is a first-come, first-served system. You will be placed in a queue for an available appointment only at the mass vaccination center closest to your home zip code. You will also receive a weekly notification re-assuring you that you are still in the queue for a vaccine.
Once an appointment becomes available, you will be sent a link to book your appointment the following week. The link is active for 24 hours; if you do not book your appointment, you will be re-entered into the pre-registration queue until another appointment becomes available.
We know the process of signing up for a vaccination appointment is frustrating and unnecessarily challenging. My legislative colleagues and I are advocating to change that.
If you are unable to schedule an appointment online, call the Baker Administration's scheduling center at 2-1-1 or (877) 211-6277 for assistance. This service is available between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Expect long wait times on the phone.
The Baker Administration also suggests that you try the following local organizations as possible resources to assist you and your loved ones with scheduling a vaccination appointment:
Additional information on ways to get assistance scheduling an appointment will be shared as it become available.
If you are unable to leave your home due to health conditions for a routine medical appointment, homebound residents or their loved ones can call 1-833-983-0485 to begin the process of scheduling an in-home vaccine appointment. The line is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., available in English and Spanish and with translators available for other languages.
A FINAL WORD
I share your deep frustrations about how poorly the vaccine rollout process has been so far, and I continue to press the Baker administration for improvements. That is why I co-filed An Act Effectuating Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination to make vaccines available to all regardless of race, zip code, first language, transit access, or internet access. I promise to keep you updated about changes to the vaccine program as I receive them.
Massachusetts continues to rank near the bottom of all 50 states for vaccine administration. Droves of doses remain on freezer shelves, and some doses have even ended up in the garbage because of the implementation failures despite a solid plan from the Vaccine Advisory Board.
Questions and comments about the COVID vaccine distribution plan and implementation can be emailed directly to the Baker administration at COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov. I welcome constituents to copy me on those emails as well.
Because the vaccination distribution will take several more months, please continue to wear a face mask, wash your hands, and maintain physical distance from others. Also, try to get 20-30 minutes of physical activity daily, stay hydrated, eat well, and take time to take care of your mental health.
I promise to continue advocating for your personal and public health. In the meantime, I wish you and your family strength, health, and resilience during these difficult times.
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