Next step in state’s vaccine rollout plan starts Feb. 18
February 17, 2021
To the members of the MIT community,
As you may have already heard, Governor Charlie Baker today announced that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is progressing, effective tomorrow, to the next segment of its Covid-19 vaccine rollout. This step will expand vaccine eligibility to two additional groups of Massachusetts residents: individuals aged 65 and older and individuals of any age with two or more specific medical conditions (see list of eligible conditions).
This is good news, indeed, as it signals the Commonwealth’s progress toward our shared goal of protecting all of us as quickly as possible.
At the same time, we have learned that the Commonwealth will be focusing its upcoming vaccine distribution efforts on its mass vaccination sites, such as Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park, and its partnerships with retail drugstores CVS and Walgreens. This means that venues such as MIT Medical are unlikely to receive vaccine in the coming weeks, other than to complete the vaccinations of those who have already received a first dose.
I know this may come as a disappointment to those in this new phase who might have hoped to be vaccinated in a more familiar setting, at MIT. However, when it comes to the special procedures and precautions involved in vaccinating large numbers of people during a pandemic, we have learned that there are logistical advantages to administering the vaccine in larger venues.
Governor Baker’s decision today tells us that he is focused on finding the most effective ways to get shots in arms as quickly as possible. We share that goal, because it helps all of us: MIT is part of the larger community, and we know that none of us are truly protected until the vast majority of us are protected.
When the Commonwealth resumes shipping vaccine to MIT Medical, we will share that information with you. For now, anyone who qualifies for the Covid-19 vaccine in the new phase that we enter tomorrow should seek to obtain vaccination through the process that the Commonwealth has set up. We also want to reassure those who have recently received a first dose of vaccine through MIT Medical that the Commonwealth will deliver second doses for us to distribute to you at the appropriate time.
We are all looking forward to the day when we can again do those things we once took for granted — lunches with colleagues, impromptu get-togethers, family celebrations. We know that vaccination is the key to ending this pandemic, and we support the Commonwealth’s efforts to do so as soon as possible.
Cecilia Stuopis, MD
Medical Director, MIT Medical