I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I would also like to wish Ramadan Mubarak to all of you who are observing this month.
Public Informational Hearing on COVID-19 Variants Tomorrow
The Joint Committee on Public Health, which I co-Chair, and the Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management are holding a joint public informational hearing on COVID-19 variants tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13, 2021 from 10 AM to 1 PM that will be livestreamed on malegislature.gov. Read more here.
More than 1,200 Coronavirus Variant Cases Found in Massachusetts
The CDC found that more than 1,200 COVID-19 variant cases have been detected in the Commonwealth. Watch the virtual livestream tomorrow on COVID-19 variants to learn more on the subject. Read more here.
MA Launches Interactive Vaccine Helper
A virtual assistant called Vaccine Chat was launched on vaccine-related pages across Mass.gov today to help quickly answer questions about vaccine eligibility, appointments, safety and more. You can test it out at https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
Nationwide and Federal Updates
Study Finds That Antibody Drugs Can Protect Against COVID-19
According to clinical trial results shared today, an antibody drug developed by the drug maker Regeneron offered protection against COVID-19 when given to people living with someone infected with the coronavirus. If the drug becomes authorized, it could be another way to protect individuals against the coronavirus. Read more here.
Pfizer Seeking Emergency Use Authorization for Vaccine in Kids 12-15
Pfizer has requested that the US Food and Drug Administration amend its emergency use authorization for the COVID-19 vaccine to include children aged 12 to 15. The current authorization covers people ages 16 and up. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility Expanded
As of Monday, April 5, 2021, individuals age 55 and older as well as individuals with one comorbidity are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Eligible conditions include: asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, immunocompromised state, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking, type 2 diabetes, HIV, type 1 diabetes, and hypertension. On Monday, April 19, 2021, the general public age 16 and older will be eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.
Preparing for your Vaccination Appointment
Learn about how you can prepare for your vaccination appointment here
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!
Today, Governor Charlie Baker toured the vaccination site at Family Health Center of Worcester and provided an update on COVID-19 vaccinations. The Governor shared that we are the top state in both first and total doses administered among states that have over 5 million people and that this week we will pass 2 million vaccinated people in Massachusetts. He also shared that he has no immediate plans to change Massachusetts’ mask mandate, and that the Administration would only do so once more people are vaccinated. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
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 by Tuesday, April 20, 2021. For more information and to apply, go to bit.ly/3u3pEWX.
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.”