I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources. I would also like to ask you to join me in voting today for my colleague Representative Tram T. Nguyen for the EMILY’s List Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award. Please take 10 seconds to vote for her now at t.ly/386Y. The deadline is Friday, April 23, 2021 at 5:00 PM. The Rising Star Award was named for Gabrielle Giffords to celebrate an extraordinary woman serving in state or local office. Representative Nguyen is a leader worthy of this nomination and an inspiration to many. She defeated a right-wing Trump supporter who chairs the state Republican party to become the first Vietnamese American woman to serve in the Massachusetts Legislature. Representative Nguyen has dedicated her life to working with immigrants, low-income families, and victims of domestic violence, first as a legal services attorney and now as a champion legislator.
Vaccines Town Hall 4/29
Please join me, Secretary of Health and Human Services Marylou Sudders, Dr. Bronwyn MacInnis, Director of the Infectious Disease and Microbiome Program at the Broad Institute in Cambridge, and Dr. Assaad Sayah, CEO of the Cambridge Health Alliance for a Town Hall meeting on Vaccines on Thursday 4/29 at 5:30PM. You can register for a Zoom linkhere. The town hall will also air on CCTV’s Channel 9, cctvcambridge.org/channel09, cctvcambridge.org/youtube, and Facebook.com/cctvcambridge.
Please send any questions you have on vaccines for the panelists to Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov ahead of the panel.
You can now update your contact information on vaccinesignup.mass.gov by clicking on the “Edit your contact information” section and following the instructions. Learn more here.
Guidelines for Fully-vaccinated Individuals
If you’re fully-vaccinated, you can visit individuals who are not fully-vaccinated. However, you should still wear a mask and avoid large gatherings to help stop the spread of COVID. Learn more here.
Trust the Facts, Get the Vax Canvassers
Canvassers working with our Commonwealth’s vaccine equity initiative are reaching the 20 hardest-hit communities in our state. These individuals are helping build trust in the vaccine and promoting access for residents. You can read more here.
Read the CDC’s most recent COVID-19 research regarding school reopening strategies, spread of virus during church singing, and more here.
W.H.O. Shares that COVID Cases Around the World Reached a New Weekly Record
Data from the World Health Organization (W.H.O.) showed that there were 5.24 million new global cases of COVID last week, which is more cases than in any seven-day period since the start of the pandemic. Read more here.
One-fifth of Older Individuals Still Need a Vaccine in the U.S.
Older individuals are particularly vulnerable to serious complications or death from COVID, they are also the most vaccinated age group in the nation. However, approximately a fifth of those 65 and older, have not yet received one shot. Read more here.
EU Regulator Finds a Possible Link Between Johnson & Johnson Vaccine and Blood Clots, Yet Shares that the Benefits Outweigh the Risks
Europe’s medicines regulator shared that a possible link has been found between the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine and rare blood clots. However, they emphasized that the overall benefits of getting the vaccine outweigh the risks. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Vaccine Eligibility Open to All Adults
All Massachusetts residents aged 16 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, people under the age of 18 can only receive the Pfizer 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 This Week During April Vacation
DHSP Online is offering fun and free virtual activities all April Vacation week, today through Friday, 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 Wednesday, April 14, 2021 until Friday, May 7, 2021. 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.
Governor Baker did not hold a press conference today. You can watch the Governor’s latest updates here.
Cambridge COVID Testing Sites
Mental Health Services and Resources
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.”