I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I would also like to wish a very Happy Easter to everyone celebrating this weekend.
Number of High-Risk MA Communities Is Rising
According to state data, 55 Massachusetts cities and towns are in the “red zone” for COVID-19 transmission this week, nearly double last week’s number of 32 communities. The designation is based on case counts and positivity rates. Read more here.
Type 1 Diabetes, HIV, Hypertension Added to the List of Qualifying Medical Conditions for Vaccine Priority
Type 1 Diabetes, HIV, and hypertension have been added to the list of qualifying medical conditions for vaccine priority. The CDC added these conditions to the federal list of eligible co-morbidities this earlier this week.
FDA Authorizes Increased Moderna Vaccine Doses Per Vial
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration updated its emergency use authorization for the Moderna vaccine yesterday to increase the number of doses per vial. Currently available vials can hold up to 11 doses, while an additional authorization provides for a “multi-dose” vial that holds as many as 15 doses. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility Expands on Monday
As of Monday, April 5, 2021, individuals age 55 and older and individuals with one comorbidity will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible conditions include:
Chronic kidney disease
Sickle cell disease
Type 1 diabetes
Type 2 diabetes
Resources for Booking and Getting to Your Appointment
Phone: Call 2-1-1 between 8:30 AM-8:00 PM Monday-Thursday or 8:30 AM-5:00 PM Friday-Sunday and select the prompt for “help scheduling a vaccine appointment.” This multilingual service is for residents who don’t have Internet access or have trouble using the Internet.
Need help? For detailed information about how to make an appointment, including updates about specific health care providers, see the Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services vaccine resources page. You can also visit macovidvaxhelp.com, which is an unofficial site staffed by volunteers for eligible individuals who are unable to book vaccine appointments on their own.
Need a ride?
Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SCES) is offering free transportation for local adults aged 60+ to COVID-19 vaccination sites in Cambridge and Somerville as well as Fenway Park and CHA Malden. For more information, click here. To register for a ride, call SCES at 617-628-2601 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All MassHealth members or Health Safety Net patients can get free transportation to COVID-19 vaccine appointments. You can request transportation for a scheduled appointment by calling (800) 841-2900. You may find additional information on transportation help here.
The City of Cambridge has published accessibility information for the state’s mass vaccination sites. You can find it here.
Don’t forget to book your second appointment while you’re getting your first dose!
The Cambridge Public Health Department will award six $1,000 mini-grants to support projects promoting youth mental health and wellness in Cambridge. Applications are due Tuesday, April 20, 2021. For more information and to apply, go to bit.ly/3u3pEWX.
Virtual Candidate Forums for Interim Superintendent Finalists
The Cambridge School Committee is hosting Virtual Candidate Forums between 5:00 and 8:00 PM next Thursday, April 8, 2021 for the three finalists for the position of Interim Superintendent of Schools. Panels of students, family representatives, and educational staff will ask questions of the finalists. Members of the community can watch the forums live via Zoom. Read more here.
Council on Aging Homebound Vaccination Program
The homebound vaccination program is for people who would not otherwise be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine unless they receive it in their home. It does not include individuals who are temporarily homebound; and/or able to leave the home with adequate assistance; or those who would prefer to get a vaccine in their home. If you meet the definition for homebound, or know someone who does, please call the Cambridge Council on Aging (CoA) at 617-349-6220. Learn more here.
If you or a loved one are struggling, please know that you are not alone. Here are some great resources:
Where to Give
On Fridays, Cambridge CoHousing will be collecting food either in a paper bag or small box for the Chelsea Food Collaborative. Drop off is between 9 AM and 2:30 PM at the entrance to CoHousing at 175 Richdale Ave, Cambridge, MA. If you don't see someone at the moment you arrive, please leave it just inside the gate where we will have boxes marked "For Chelsea."