All Massachusetts residents age 75 and older are now eligible to make an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Residents could start scheduling an appointment Wednesday for shots being administered starting Monday at one of more than 80 sites around the state, from mass vaccination sites like Gillette Stadium to local pharmacies and supermarkets.
State health officials urged patience, warning that it may take several weeks to get an appointment and that as more vaccine supply arrives, additional appointments will become available. Appointments are added on a rolling basis, so residents are encouraged to check the website regularly.
Seniors can begin making an appointment by following these steps:
- Use mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap to find a vaccine clinic near you. The map specifies the difference between mass vaccination sites, general vaccination sites, pharmacy vaccination sites and local vaccination sites open only to select cities and towns.
- Make an appointment online and fill out the attestation form. The form can be printed from this PDF, filled out and brought to your appointment. If you cannot print out the form or complete it online, you may fill it out at the vaccination site.
Once vaccinations are completed for residents 75 and older, those who are older than 65 and those with two chronic illnesses or medical conditions will be eligible.
Meanwhile, the AARP of Massachusetts is urging state leaders to set up a hotline to help with appointments, citing concerns about seniors navigating the state’s website to register.
In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker and the Massachusetts Legislature Tuesday, State Director Mike Festa and State President Sandra Harris of AARP Massachusetts called for a dedicated 800 number to help seniors sign up for the vaccine. They also said the state's website needs improvement.
"Individuals need to know where, when and how they can receive the vaccines," they said. "We continue to hear from members that they do not know when, where or how to schedule an appointment. This is unacceptable to AARP and should be to all Bay Staters. Massachusetts can and must do better."
The phone was ringing non stop at the Revere senior center Wednesday with older residents calling trying to sign up for the COVID vaccine.
“You do need to be a calming voice and make people feel comfortable and get them the information they need,” said Ed Deveau, a part-time worker who was answering calls.
Deb Peczka DiGiulio, the interim director of elder affairs, said residents are looking for answers.
“They’re frightened. They want this vaccination, they want a solution and we need to help them through this process,” she said.
Right now, Revere does not have any vaccine available for Phase 2. They will get about 400 doses next week, and should get about that same allotment weekly.
Revere Mayor Brian Arrigo sayidhe’s asking residents to call 311 so the city can help “walk residents through the process.”
The city said it has even launched a campaign to start calling thousands of residents to make sure they’re getting the help they need to register for when the vaccine becomes available. They’ll also help them try to book at pharmacies, and supermarkets.
“We will be sending teams out through our mobile city hall and through our ambassador program out in the neighborhoods to be able to help people walk through that process,” Arrigo said.