IPSWICH — Town Manager Anthony Marino and Public Health Director Colleen Fermon report the state announced yesterday that the next wave of residents eligible through phase two of the state’s vaccination distribution plan can begin booking appointments today.
Residents who became eligible to begin making appointments today include those 65-years-old and older, including residents and staff of low income and affordable public and private senior housing, as well as those 16-years-old and older with two or more comorbidities. Eligible comorbidities include moderate to severe asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, down syndrome, heart conditions, immunocompromised individuals from a solid organ transplant, obesity and severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking and type two diabetes mellitus.
State officials shared on Wednesday that Massachusetts is currently receiving approximately 110,000 first doses of the vaccine per week.
Everyone is asked to remain patient as they seek appointments, as there is a very limited supply at this time of vaccinations and they are in extremely high demand. Approximately 1 million Massachusetts residents are eligible through the latest wave of the distribution plan, and it is believed those individuals may need to wait more than one month before they can book an appointment to receive their first dose. Only 70,000 appointments will be posted at mass vaccination sites statewide today for booking.
The closest mass vaccination site is at the Double Tree Hotel in Danvers.
“We encourage residents who become eligible to book an appointment today to be patient and to stay positive. Even if you can’t schedule an appointment right away, check the state vaccination site regularly, and reach out to your local pharmacy,” Director Fermon said. “Eventually, you will be able to get the vaccine if you want it. We know this has been a tremendously difficult time and want to remind our residents that we’re in this together.”
The state also announced a streamlined vaccination plan yesterday, through which only 20 municipalities identified as having had the greatest COVID-19 burden will be able to continue to distribute the vaccine locally. These communities include Boston, Brockton, Chelsea, Everett, Fall River, Fitchburg, Framingham, Haverhill, Holyoke, Lawrence, Leominster, Lowell, Lynn, Malden, Methuen, New Bedford, Randolph, Revere, Springfield, and Worcester.
The streamlined vaccination plan seeks to ensure an equitable distribution of vaccines and will also allocate more vaccines to mass vaccination sites, regional sites and pharmacy sites.
Residents that become eligible today are advised to seek out a vaccination appointment through a mass vaccination site, and should a regional clinic be planned in the North Shore area Ipswich officials will share that information with residents promptly.
To make an appointment at a vaccination site:
- Visit mass.gov/COVID-vaccine to find your phase and priority group
- If you’re eligible, visit mass.gov/COVIDVaccineMap to find a vaccine clinic near you
- Make an appointment online and fill out the attestation form
Those without internet access may also call 211 for assistance making an appointment.
The 211 line can be accessed by dialing 2–1–1 and selecting the prompt for “Help Scheduling a Vaccine Appointment.” The hotline is only available for residents eligible for the vaccine without internet access or who otherwise cannot use the appointment site, and will take calls Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Translators will be available to help through the 211 line. Callers will be able to speak with a live representative who will help them find a nearby vaccination location and make an appointment. For more information about the 211 line, click here.
Local Boards of Health will continue working with homebound individuals to schedule vaccinations. Vaccinations are being given to homebound residents in Ipswich today, and vaccinations in senior housing communities in Ipswich are already underway.
For the latest COVID-19 updates for the Town of Ipswich, visit ipswichcovid19.com.