The instructions included here for scheduling appointments are the best information we have, but the truth is that it is going to be hard for people to actually find vaccines. Many sites are not actually offering appointments. If you are eligible for vaccination and you are a patient of one of the state’s major health care systems, you will likely get notified by them when they have vaccine available for you. You will be invited to come in to their dedicated vaccine sites. Do not expect to be notified over the next couple of weeks unless you reside in one of the higher risk zip codes, typically high poverty zip codes. Will Brownsberger
The distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine is currently underway in Massachusetts. This post will describe eligibility requirements for each phase of the state’s distribution plan, and what we know about scheduling an appointment to get vaccinated. For additional information about the makeup of each eligible group, please refer to the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Timeline Phase Overview.
Phase One: December 2020 – February 2021
Groups eligible to receive the vaccine in Phase One include all healthcare workers, individuals living and working in long-term care facilities, first responders, and individuals living and working in congregate care facilities.
Phase Two: February – March 2021
While we are currently in Phase One of the state’s distribution plan, individuals aged 75 or older become eligible for a vaccine beginning on February 1 and may begin scheduling appointments on Wednesday, January 27 at 12:01 AM.
In addition to individuals aged 75 or older, groups eligible for vaccines in Phase Two include:
- Individuals aged 65 or older
- Individuals with two or more comorbidities that are considered an increased risk by the CDC of severe illness
- Select categories of workers
- Individuals with one co-morbid condition
Phase Three: April 2021
The vaccine is expected to become available to the general public during Phase Three of the distribution plan. Once the vaccine is available to the general public, public vaccine clinics will become available on the CDC’s website, Vaccine Finder. Individuals will also be able to check in with their primary care providers, local pharmacies, or local health departments.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) does not plan to maintain a central sign-up or scheduling system for the vaccine.
Scheduling an Appointment
Regardless of when you become eligible to receive a vaccine, you must schedule an appointment in advance.
To schedule an appointment, you must visit the COVID Vaccine Map, which displays vaccine administration sites statewide. Click a star icon on the map to view information about scheduling an appointment for a particular administration site; you will be redirected to another website to complete the scheduling process.
The information contained in the map is also available as a downloadable list, for easier viewing; although you will still be directed to a second website to schedule an appointment.
Individuals must present proof of eligibility to receive the vaccine. Some sites require individuals to attest to their eligibility as part of the scheduling process. All other sites will accept the Commonwealth’s Self Attestation Form on the day of your appointment.
As vaccine production ramps up and stock increases, more administration sites will come online, and will be added to the state’s Vaccine Map.
DPH will release a weekly vaccination report every Thursday at 5 PM, including data about the number of doses of vaccine shipped and administered; the number of individuals vaccinated; the number of vaccine distributed by county; the age and race/ethnicity breakdowns of individuals receiving the vaccine; and vaccines administered by different types of providers.
This post will be updated as new information becomes available.