Starting today, residents eligible for the Covid Vaccine under the state’s Phase 2 “Group 2” of the rollout can register for Vaccine Clinics. Those are:
- 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.
As they did under the prior stage, the Town is promoting a signup sheet for eligible residents to be alerted when there are available openings in clinics in Town or in a town nearby.
The revised graphic on the Town’s website for the vaccine clinic Interest Form now focuses on encouraging “65+ & residents of senior housing” to sign up. However, the form isn’t limited to that group.
Others eligible due to 2 specified medical conditions, or who will become eligible later in Phase 2, can also sign up. (There is a pull down field asking residents to identify which group they fall under. For details on those groups, scroll down.)
The form does not need to be completed by the individual – a caregiver (or family member or friend) can fill it out for them.
As I noted when the signup sheet was first launched for ages 75+, 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 has encouraged residents to also 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.
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 Town volunteers who might be reaching out to help older seniors.
This month, the Town has been posting News Flash alerts when regional Vaccine opportunities are available. If you aren’t eligible to be on the sign up sheet but want to keep tabs on opportunities for loved ones, you can sign up for the Town’s e-alerts here. (I also try to share those opportunities on the blog here.)
You can read more about the Town’s effort on its Covid-19 Information Center page. You can directly access the form here.
The Town’s most recent update of Covid figures from Monday show a cumulative total of 383 cases, 56 of which have been ages 60+. (There is no public data on percentages of asymptomatic, mild, or severe cases in town.) The community infection rate 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”.
Phase 2 Groups are currently listed in the following order on mass.gov:
- Group 1: Individuals age 75+
- Group 2: Individuals age 65+, individuals with 2+ certain medical conditions (only those conditions listed as at increased risk for severe illness – asthma was recently added to the list), 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.
The signup sheet is a Board of Health initiative. A partnership between the board and the Senior Center includes volunteer callers to reach seniors who may not be receiving information online.
When the form was launched for ages 75+ two weeks ago, 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.