Massachusetts teachers will be eligible to register for a coronavirus vaccine starting next week, Gov. Charlie Baker said Wednesday.
The governor's announcement came a day after President Joe Biden urged states to prioritize vaccinations for teachers, and the same day retail pharmacy locations that had been offering vaccinations announced that they would start accepting signups from teachers.
Baker said the state’s move will make about 400,000 educators, child care workers, and school staffers eligible for a vaccine. He said because vaccination supply remains limited, it may take some time to book an appointment.
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Below, read the announcement sent out by the Baker administration regarding Massachusetts' decision to allow K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 staff to be eligible to schedule COVID-19 vaccine appointments beginning on Thursday, March 11, along with details on available appointments for the upcoming week:
Beginning March 11, all K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff will be eligible to schedule appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine. Educators may book appointments at all 170 sites currently open to eligible residents in Massachusetts by visiting www.mass.gov/covidvaccinemap.
Additionally, the Command Center will work to designate specific days at the seven mass vaccination sites for educators to get their shots. More details will be released soon.
There are approximately 400,000 K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff in Massachusetts. Due to a severely constrained federal supply and the existing population that is currently eligible for vaccines, it is estimated that it will take a month for all eligible individuals to secure a first appointment. This timeframe is only subject to change if federal supply increases dramatically, including the recently authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
This week, the state anticipates over 250,000 doses will be administered between first and second doses across all providers throughout the Commonwealth.
On Thursday, March 4, 12,000 new first appointments for mass vaccination sites will be made available to eligible groups. Over 45,000 new second dose appointments have also been scheduled at mass vaccination sites.
The number of new appointments (first dose appointments) is less than previous weeks due to the volume of second dose appointments. 7,500 appointments have also been booked by the call center (211) for older adults who were unable to use a computer to book an appointment and required assistance.
As more individuals have received a first vaccine dose across the Commonwealth, there is a greater need to book second appointments, so the mass vaccination sites have fewer first dose appointments available on a weekly basis.
Later next week, a new Regional Collaboration will go live: the Lower Merrimack Valley regional collaboration, to include the City of Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimac, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury. Details on this collaborative will be on the website at mass.gov/covidvaccinemap next week.
Johnson & Johnson Vaccine
The COVID-19 Command Center was notified that Massachusetts is receiving only one shipment of 58,000 doses for the month of March. These doses have been allocated – primarily to hospitals and health systems.
Based on information the Commonwealth has received from the federal government, the administration does not expect to be able to order more Johnson & Johnson doses until the end of March or early April.
While the Commonwealth is receiving limited doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine in March, the administration is continuing to plan for eventual widespread distribution of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.