coronavirus

Mass. Updates Vaccine Eligibility; Type 1 Diabetes Now a Prioritized Medical Condition

Anyone with Type 1 diabetes, HIV, hypertension or substance abuse disorders will now be eligible to schedule an appointment on Monday

Massachusetts updated its vaccine eligibility on Friday, adopting new CDC guidance adding Type 1 diabetes as one of several new priority medical conditions.

That means anyone with Type 1 diabetes will now be eligible to schedule an appointment on Monday, April 5.

Type 1 diabetes was not originally listed as a priority medical condition, but advocates in Massachusetts called on Gov. Charlie Baker to add it after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its guidance to include it.

Right now, people living with Type I Diabetes do not have COVID vaccine priority, while people living with Type II diabetes do.

Cystic fibrosis, dementia, HIV, hypertension or substance use disorders are also now included on the list of priority medical conditions.

The full list of conditions includes:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorders

For anyone who has already pre-registered but would like to update their information to reflect the new medical conditions recognized by the CDC and Massachusetts as of Monday, the Baker administration said it is building a feature for individuals to edit their submission that will be made available soon.

Massachusetts should still receive 100,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine after reported manufacturing issues, but the outlook in following weeks is still under review, Baker administration officials said Thursday.

Residents 60 and older and certain workers, including transit, grocery, utility, food services, sanitation, public works, public health workers and more are already eligible for the vaccine.

Starting on Monday, residents 55 and up and residents with one certain medical condition become eligible.

Everyone 16 years of age and older becomes eligible to schedule an appointment on April 19.

The full timeline is available at mass.gov/COVIDVaccinePhases.

The state's new online vaccine sign-up tool went live last month, changing the sign-up process for appointments at the large-scale sites. Preregistered residents will be added to a waiting list where they'll receive weekly status updates and be notified when an appointment becomes available.

Preregistration only takes a couple of minutes at vaccinesignup.mass.gov to get on a waiting list for an appointment at one of the large-scale sites.

Once an appointment opens up, residents will be notified via email, phone or text, based on their preference. The notification will include a link with a special code needed to schedule the appointment, which expires after one day.

The appointment must be accepted within 24 hours, otherwise the resident will be sent back into the queue and must wait for another appointment.

Residents can opt out of their preregistration at any time if they get an appointment elsewhere.

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