There have been a lot of complaints about the difficulty of signing up seniors ages 75 and older for Covid Vaccine clinics. The Town is trying to assist with the process. Officials are also trying to ensure that they are prepared if/when the Town is able to launch its own clinic.
If you are someone eligible to receive a Covid-19 vaccination under the state’s Phase 2 roll out, the Town is inviting you to sign up for notifications.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Phase 2 Interest Form will not register you to get the vaccine or even reserve a slot. It is just intended to:
keep you informed of relevant local & regional vaccine resources & potential clinics that open up in Southborough or with our community partners.
The form itself further qualifies:
This is an interest form . . . in the case that we may be able to offer opportunities for qualified residents to be vaccinated.
Within the form, it asks:
Would you like to be notified if appointments open up at vaccine clinics either in Southborough or surrounding towns (potentially in the next couple weeks)
The Town still encourages residents to continue to pursue other avenues for registering for clinics:
We encourage residents to continue to seek vaccination appointments as they become available at pharmacies, medical providers or other regional sites if possible. This link provides the most up to date details from Mass DPH. https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine
Details on COVID vaccination clinic locations: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-locations-for-individuals-in-phase-1. This link is maintained by the Mass Department of Public Health and will be updated as phases accelerate.
Right now, the state is focused on vaccinating residents ages 75 and older. The Southborough Senior Center is also focusing on that age group, with volunteers calling older residents to notify them of the interest form. But the form is also open to those who will be eligible in subsequent groupings under Phase 2. You can complete the form to be notified when certain area clinics for your demographic start to open registration.
(The graphic above is a high level look at who is eligible under Phase 2. If you think you or a family member might be in one of those groups, scroll down for more details.)
The signup sheet only asks for high level information – your name, contact information, and demographic. It also asks questions about your transportation access to clinics. Since it doesn’t look for private details (such as social security number, credit card), neither would any volunteers reaching out to help older seniors.
The signup sheet is a Board of Health initiative. The volunteer callers are out of a partnership between the board and the Senior Center. Public Health Nurse Emily Amico explained:
While the Massachusetts Immunization Clinic system, PrepMod, is great in many ways it provides challenges to those that do not have email or internet access, or for those who find it challenging to navigate an online registration. Many have family members that can support in this task if they themselves are unable. In reaching out to the 75+ Residents of Southborough we hope to both, find a way to get these clinic registrations to them as they become available in our area and also find those individuals that may need support. In the LBOH/DPH-Command Center call yesterday they announced that a statewide call center is forthcoming but no details yet. The Senior Center Resource Staff will continue to do what they do best. Which is to provide support to our local residents where it is needed.
Medical systems and offices are also beginning the process of reaching out. It may seem like a slow start but for right now the vaccine supply is limited for Phase 2. There is a steady supply of vaccine coming to Massachusetts. Once Phase 1 clinics have wrapped up that will free up the doses shipped to Massachusetts to be used for more Phase 2 clinics. Sites that are restricted to small amounts of vaccine will begin to be allotted more, and more locations will be opening up.
The Town’s most recent update of Covid figures show a cumulative total of 364 cases, 31 of which have been ages 70+. (There is no public data on percentages of asymptomatic, mild, or severe cases in town.) The community infection rate is still high compared to pre-Thanksgiving numbers, but has been declining since early January. (You can see my latest tracking here.)
Below is more detail on who will become eligible for vaccines under Phase 2. It includes links to the state’s defined lists of “certain medical conditions”.
Groups are currently listed in the following order on mass.gov:
- Group 2: Individuals age 65+, individuals with 2+ certain medical conditions (only those conditions listed as at increased risk for severe illness), and/or residents and staff of low income and affordable senior housing.
- Group 3: Other workers, including:
- Early education/daycare, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, restaurant and cafe workers;
- Employees across the food, beverages, agriculture, consumer goods, retail, and foodservice sectors;
- Sanitation, public works and public health workers;
- Vaccine development workers;
- Food pantry workers and volunteers;
- Transit/transportation: Uber/Lyft/ride share services/pharmacy delivery drivers, workers in the passenger ground transportation industry (e.g. paratransit for people with disabilities, food delivery, non-urgent medical transport), Massport workers other than police, airline workers;
- Convenience store workers (under grocery workers);
- Water and wastewater utility staff
- Court system workers (judges, prosecutors, defense attorneys, clerks), other than court officers who are listed under first responders
- Medical supply chain workers
- Workers at manufacturers (including biotechnology companies and those companies that have shifted production to medical supplies), materials and parts suppliers, technicians, logistics and warehouse operators, printers, packagers, distributors of medical products and equipment (including third party logistics providers, and those who test and repair), personal protective equipment (PPE), isolation barriers, medical gases, pharmaceuticals (including materials used in radioactive drugs), dietary supplements, commercial health products, blood and blood products, vaccines, testing materials, laboratory supplies, cleaning, sanitizing, disinfecting or sterilization supplies (including dispensers), sanitary goods, personal care products, pest control products, and tissue and paper towel products.
- Funeral directors and funeral workers
- Shipping port and terminal workers
- Group 4: Individuals with one certain medical condition
The state’s website notes that they have “paused” for now detailing the rollout for future groups under Phase 3.
Updated (2/3/21 10:05 am): I added in more context on the Town’s initiative that I received from the Town’s Dept of Public Health.