I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
Governor Baker Press Conference Updates
Administration Announces Targeted Equity Partnership with Boston Red Sox/Community Partners, Allocation Update and Additional Sites on Pre-registration System
Today Governor Baker joined community partners to announce “@RedSox Week at the Hynes” next week. On Monday, April 19, 2021 all people 16 and older are eligible for the COVID vaccine, and next week the Administration is reserving 20,000 appointments at the Hynes mass vaccination site for our hardest-hit communities. Read more here.
CDC Advisory Committee to Discuss J&J Vaccine After Rare Blood Clotting Cases
The CDC’s Advisory Committee of Immunization Practices is meeting today to talk about Johnson and Johnson’s COVID vaccine after both the CDC and FDA recommended nationwide yesterday to stop using it due to six serious cases of blood clotting. Read more here.
3.1 Million Individuals Receiving a Shot Nationwide
The rate of vaccination continues to increase, as approximately 3.1 million people are receiving a shot nationwide every day. Every adult will be eligible in the United States by next week.
The CDC Shares that Overdose Deaths Have Surged During the Pandemic
Federal data showcases that over 87,000 Americans died of drug overdoses over the 12-month period that ended in September 2020. This data surpasses the death toll from any year since the opioid epidemic began in the 1990s. It is clear that this surge in overdoses showcases a major and devastating public health crisis. 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!
DHSP Online Free Virtual Activities During April Vacation Week
DHSP Online will offer fun and free virtual activities during April Vacation week, April 20, 2021 through April 23, 2021, for Cambridge children in grades JK-8. Read more and sign up here.
May 7 Deadline for Small Business Grants
An additional $600,000 in grants for Cambridge small businesses is available through the City’s Mayor’s Disaster Relief Fund and the Cambridge Redevelopment Authority. Grant applications accepted from April 14, 2021 until May 7, 2021. Read more here.
Youth Mental Health Mini-Grants Available
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.”