Massachusetts announces initial steps for COVID-19 vaccine distribution

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BOSTON, Mass. (WLNE) –  The first round of COVID-19 vaccine shipments to Massachusetts are set to begin around December 15.  On Wednesday, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker announced allocation and distribution plans.

Massachusetts is set to receive a shipment of 59,475 doses of the Pfizer vaccine, which was ordered from the federal government on Friday.  These doses will be distributed to 21 hospitals across eight counties, as well as to the Department of Public Health Immunization lab.

According to Gov. Baker, doses will then be redistributed to 74 hospitals across all 14 counties for front line medical workers.

The next 40,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed to the Federal Pharmacy Program to vaccinate staff and residents in nursing facilities, rest homes, and assisted living residences.

Baker says the vaccine is being prioritized for these groups to ‘maximize life preservation and to support the health care system’.

Massachusetts is expecting 300,000 first doses of the vaccine to be delivered by the end of December.

The first vaccines manufactured by Moderna and Pfizer will require two doses administered 3-4 weeks apart.

To view the administration’s vaccine website, click here.

According to a release, all delivery dates and quantities are subject to change due to federal approval and allocation.  The administration plans to receive and distribute over 2 million doses to priority groups by the end of March.

The administration designated specific groups of medical workers, first responders and residents most at risk for illness to receive the vaccine before the general population.

Anticipated Vaccination Phases and Timeline:

Phase One (December 2020-February 2021):

In order of priority

  • Clinical and non-clinical healthcare workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
  • Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  • Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Services
  • Congregate care settings (including shelters and corrections)
  • Home-based healthcare workers
  • Healthcare workers doing non-COVID facing care

Phase Two (February 2021-April 2021):

In order of priority

  • Individuals with 2+ comorbidities (high risk for COVID-19 complications)
  • Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works and public health workers
  • Adults 65+
  • Individuals with one comorbidity

Phase Three (April 2021- ):

  • Vaccine available to general public

Although the first shipments of the vaccine are expected to contain manufactured doses by Pfizer and Moderna, Massachusetts will not distribute the vaccine until it received FDA emergency use authorization.

Residents are urged to click here to learn more, or contact their medical provider for questions about any vaccination plans.

©WLNE-TV/ABC6 2020

Categories: Coronavirus, Massachusetts, News, Regional News