COVID-19 vaccinations beginning in local region

Phase one of state plan is under way

Massachusetts DPH COVID-19 vaccination plan

Governor Baker recently outlined vaccination plans for Massachusetts residents. The timeline is broken down into three phases. The Department of Public Health and the Massachusetts Vaccine Advisory Group, consisting of leaders from health care, community organizations, local government, and faith community members were involved with the program. According to Governor Baker, the timeline reflects several priorities including the most vulnerable.

Locally, the Nashoba Associated Board of Health Director Jim Garrefi sent out a communication informing local administration that the State provided initial training on the clinic software to be used to schedule vaccination appointments for first responders. This software is critical to scheduling effectively because of the storage and handling requirements of the vaccine — they don’t want to waste vaccine.

The clinic includes individuals to assist with screening, vaccinating, and observation; while extremely rare, like any vaccination, there is the possibility of a reaction. The goal is to secure eight to ten vaccinators, eight screeners, and at least four observers.

Shirley's first responders are scheduled to be vaccinated on Jan. 20 and 23. 

Vaccine Phases

Phase 1 (Dec. 2020 – Feb. 2021)

Listed in order of priority:

  • Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
    Including: COVID-19 testers, staff of test sites, urgent care centers, other clinics, school nurses, and public health nurses performing COVID-19 testing; COVID-19 vaccinators and support staff for a COVID vaccination clinic including pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians, school nurses, and public health nurses supporting COVID-19 vaccination; Medical Reserve Corps who are called up to vaccinate or other COVID facing direct care work; COVID facing Hospice/palliative care professionals; COVID facing laboratorians; COVID facing imaging professions; emergent employees (manufacturing COVID vaccine)

  • Long term care facilities, rest homes, and assisted living facilities

  • Emergency medical services, police, and fire
    Including: all interfacility transport workers, MedFlight staff, college/university campus police, 911 Dispatch employees

  • Congregate care settings
    Including: corrections and shelters

  • Home-based health care workers
    Including: PT/OT/SLP therapists who work with medically complex home students

  • Health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care
    Including: Dentists/dental students (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients such as Oral Surgeons covering the ER, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Medical students (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Inpatient and outpatient physical therapists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspect patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Interpreters who work in hospitals (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Behavioral health clinicians not already covered in congregate care or direct care; Non- COVID facing Laboratorians; Blood donation workers; Organ donation procurement worker; Hospice/palliative care professionals; Non-COVID facing Imaging Professionals; Dialysis center workers and patients; Audiologists and speech and language pathologists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Podiatrists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing)

  • Individuals who do not come into contact with patients (e.g., back office, remote work, administrative staff who do not come into contact with patients, laboratory researchers who do not come into contact with patients) are not prioritized in Phase 1 and should be prioritized in Phase 2 or Phase 3 depending on each individual’s age, comorbidity status, or other worker category.

Phase 1 vaccination settings:

  • Most health care workers will be vaccinated at their place of employment

  • First responders can visit mass.gov/FirstResponderVaccine for COVID-19 vaccine locations and more information

  • Individuals living and working in long term care will be vaccinated as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program

  • Vaccination for individuals in other congregate settings (e.g., group homes, shelters, corrections) will be coordinated by the management of those facilities

  • Many additional vaccination administration sites will be made available for other populations

Phase 2 (February–March)

Listed in order of priority:

  • Individuals with 2+ co-morbid conditions and/or age 75+ (high risk for COVID-19 complications)

  • Other workers
    Including: early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, restaurant and cafe workers; employees across the food, beverages, agriculture, consumer goods, retail, and foodservice sectors; meatpackers; sanitation, public works and public health workers, vaccine development workers, food pantry workers, Uber/Lyft/ride-share services/pharmacy delivery drivers (under transit/transportation workers), workers in the passenger ground transportation industry (e.g. paratransit for people with disabilities, food delivery, non-urgent medical transport; convenience store workers (under grocery workers); water and wastewater utility staff

  • Adults 65+

  • Individuals with one co-morbid condition

Phase 3 (Starting April 2021)

In Phase 3, the vaccine is expected to be available to the general public.

  •  Higher education workers, including administrators, teaching and non-teaching staff; Bottled beverage industry workers; veterinarians; funeral directors and funeral workers

Phase 3 vaccination settings:

Once the vaccine is available to the general public, public vaccine clinics will be available on the CDC’s interactive website: vaccinefinder.org. You will also be able to check with your primary care provider, local pharmacy, or local health department.

Additional Information