Today the Baker-Polito Administration announced a streamlined vaccine delivery process for Massachusetts. The Governor also announced that beginning tomorrow, Thursday, February 18th people aged 65 years and older, and those with 2 complex medical conditions (comorbidities) are now eligible to receive vaccines.
With the state’s vaccine supply from the federal government severely limited to 110,000 first doses per week, and more than a million more people now eligible to receive vaccines as the State moves to the next phase tomorrow, the State is giving priority to large-scale state-run sites, augmented by big regional clinics and pharmacy sites. While communities will be guaranteed delivery of all second doses, effective the week of March 1, the delivery of first doses to municipal clinics will be discontinued, except in the 20 hardest-hit communities identified by the State (the list is available on the State’s website).
Therefore, Auburn will no longer be able to run its Covid vaccine clinics for our eligible residents. As a result, we will no longer be registering residents for future clinics in Auburn and have discontinued our Notification System sign-up.
We want to reassure those residents who received their first vaccine dose at our clinic at the Senior Center that they will be able to receive their second dose in Auburn.
For individuals who have access to a computer and are able to use the internet, the quickest and easiest way to schedule a vaccine appointment at a mass vaccination site or to check availability is to use the State’s online system at www.mass.gov/covidvaccine. If you are having trouble using the website, or have no access to or difficulty using a computer, residents can call 2-1-1 or (877) 211-6277 for assistance. This Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is only for those eligible for the vaccine in the current phase and only for those individuals who cannot use or have difficulty accessing the internet and therefore are unable to schedule an appointment through the online platforms. This Resource Line is available in English and Spanish and will have translators available to support residents in approximately 100 additional languages. These representatives have the same access to appointments as on the public website; it will not give individuals access to additional appointments. If no appointments are available, callers will have the option to be placed on a call back list for the mass vaccination sites. The caller will receive a call back when an appointment becomes available for them at a mass vaccination site, and the list will be called on a first-come, first-served basis.
Please note that a new mass vaccination site just opened this week at nearby Worcester State University. General vaccination sites such as some pharmacies and health care centers as well as large regional sites may have appointments available. The State website has an up-to-date list of available sites at https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/.
I want to thank the Board of Health and those employees and volunteers who worked tirelessly over the past months to plan for and operate the successful vaccination clinics that we were able to hold here in Auburn. We assure you that Town administration and the Auburn Board of Health will continue to work on behalf of our residents and businesses and in collaboration with our regional and state partners to provide outreach to our community and up-to-date information as it becomes available.
Auburn has had a total of 1316 Covid cases since the start of the pandemic nearly a year ago and we remain among the highest case counts in our region. While we are pleased to note that the number of Covid-19 cases reported in Auburn has declined for the past couple of weeks, our positivity rate is still more than double that of the State: the State’s rate is
at 2.2% while the Town’s rate is 5.12% (as of February 10th). While these rates have decreased significantly since January, we urge everyone to continue to take all precautions and follow all Covid regulations and guidelines in order to minimize the spread of the virus. We all must continue to be vigilant in our efforts.
Julie A. Jacobson