SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Many people are wondering why seniors here aren’t eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine yet, while in other parts of New England, elderly residents can get vaccinated.
In Massachusetts, Phase 1 of vaccine distribution is well underway.
Healthcare workers, residents and staff of congregate care and long-term care facilities, first responders, dentists, physical therapists, school nurses and members of clergy who work with the sick are among those who can now sign up to receive their doses.
Phase 2 will begin February 1, which includes people over the age of 75 in Massachusetts.
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.
Governor Baker comments on the vaccine rollout decision in Massachusetts compared to Connecticut in Monday’s vaccination update for the state. Play the video below for his response.
Over the state line in Connecticut though, seniors 75 years old and older are already eligible to receive their vaccines. But, certain groups of healthcare workers and first responders don’t qualify in Connecticut until the next part of Phase 1. These are some of the same groups that have already been able to get vaccinated here in Massachusetts.
Each state has it’s own vaccine plan, so phases and eligibility requirements differ from state to state.