I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources.
MBTA Working to Restore Service Cuts
In response to widespread criticism of its service cuts, MBTA leadership announced this week that it would work to restore recent cuts to subway and bus service. The T is set to receive $845 million in aid from the American Rescue Plan. Read more here.
I am thankful that the Governor has responded to the overwhelming opposition to try to dismantle the MBTA in the midst of the pandemic. You can read a letter I wrote to him on March 18th in opposition of MBTA service cuts here.
Pfizer Says Vaccine Effective in Younger Teens
Pfizer and BioNTech announced today that a Phase 3 trial showed their COVID-19 vaccine "demonstrated 100% efficacy and robust antibody responses" in participants aged 12 to 15 and said they plan to soon submit the trial data to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and European Medicines Agency to request expansion of the vaccine's emergency authorizations to include that age group. Read more here.
MA Vaccination Updates
Weekly Vaccine Dose Allocation Update
This week, the Commonwealth received 382,980 first and second doses as part of the state allocation. These numbers include a one-time shipment of 29,800 J&J vaccines for providers. Another 10,000 J&J vaccines will be set aside to utilize for the homebound vaccination program that was announced last week, for a total of 40,000 J&J.
This week, first doses and second dose state allocations (total doses), were distributed among providers as follows:
Health systems and health care providers (excluding community health centers): 133,210
Mass vaccination locations: 106,300
Regional Collaboratives and Local Boards of Health: 84,660
Community Health Centers: 28,950
Retail pharmacies (non-CVS) state allocation: 13,090
Mobile Clinics supporting long-term care facilities, congregate care, affordable/low-income senior housing and homebound individuals: 14,670
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 65+ 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 email@example.com.
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 Margaret Fuller Neighborhood House (MFNH) is partnering with local pop-up restaurateur and chef Charles Isadore for a virtual cooking class on Friday, April 23, 2021 at 6:00 PM. Tickets are $35 and include a full cooking class with a vegetarian-friendly pasta dish. Proceeds directly support the MFNH food pantry. Learn more and buy tickets here.
Cambridge 2020 Parking Permits Extended
2020 Resident and Visitor Parking Permits have been extended and will be valid through May 31, 2021. If you need to submit a 2021 renewal application, you should allow 5-7 weeks for delivery.
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."