Friday, July 29 COVID-19 & Legislative Updates

Dear all,

 

I write to you this evening with relevant COVID-19 updates and resources as well as recent legislative news. 

 

This will be the last weekly newsletter until September. While some of the information may seem repetitive, it does take my and my staff’s time to put this together every week and we are going to give ourselves a break for August. Of course, if something urgent happens, I will keep you informed. I hope that you and your families have a safe and enjoyable summer. 

 

Table of Contents

  • State Updates
  • National Updates
  • Cambridge Updates
  • COVID-19 Testing Information
  • MA Vaccination Updates
  • Vaccination Appointment Resources
  • This Week’s Case Count
  • Infant Formula Shortage Updates
  • Legislative Updates
  • Mental Health Services and Resources
  • Where to Give

 

State Updates:

 

DPH Urges Pharmacies to Promote Boosters

In a July 29 letter, Department of Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke urged Massachusetts pharmacies to proactively reach out to all patients who qualify for booster doses, encourage patients to receive booster doses as soon as they become eligible, consider co-administration of both flu and COVID-19 vaccines, and consider hosting vaccination clinics. Commissioner Cooke also asked pharmacies to take every opportunity during pharmacy visits to vaccinate anyone who has not yet received any COVID-19 vaccine. 

 

National Updates:

 

US Reaches Deal with Moderna for Omicron COVID-19 Vaccine

The Biden administration said Friday it has reached an agreement with Moderna to buy 66 million doses of the company’s next generation of COVID-19 vaccine that targets the highly transmissible omicron variant, enough supply this winter for all who want the upgraded booster. The order of the bivalent shot follows the announcement last month that the federal government had secured 105 million doses of a similar vaccine from rival drugmaker Pfizer. Learn more: https://wbur.fm/3Q12Y5n

 

HHS Expands Availability of Monkeypox Vaccine to More Than 1.1 Million Doses

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced plans to allocate an additional 786,000 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine, dramatically increasing the supply of monkeypox vaccine doses to states and jurisdictions. The additional vaccine allocation adds to the more than 340,000 doses of JYNNEOS vaccine that have already been delivered to jurisdictions. JYNNEOS vaccine is manufactured by Bavarian Nordic and approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent smallpox and monkeypox. Learn more: https://bit.ly/3ScHfbM

 

Cambridge Updates

 

Cambridge Vaccine Clinics Wednesdays through August 10

The Cambridge Public Health Department offers vaccine clinics for individuals aged 5 and older on Wednesdays from 2:00 – 4:00 PM at 119 Windsor St, 2nd floor. The last clinic will be on August 10, 2022. Register for an appointment at https://bit.ly/3RSIq00 or call 617-665-3826 with questions. 

 

COVID-19 Testing Information

 

Cambridge Appointment-Only Testing

Appointment-only testing, provided through a partnership with CIC Health, is available 7 days per week to people who live or work in Cambridge. Testing at CIC Health’s 295 Third Street location is available during the following hours:

  • Monday – Friday, from 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday & Sunday, from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

 

Appointments can be booked online at cic-health.com/cambridge or assistance is available from CIC’s Customer Service Team at support@cic-health.com or by calling 877-280-2937. 

 

State COVID-19 Testing

Please visit mass.gov/GetTested

 

Home PCR Tests for Adults 

Please visit t.ly/vL4j for details and to request a test kit.

 

MA Vaccination Updates

 

Vaccines and Boosters for Children

As a reminder, children aged 6 months and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine and children ages 5 years and older are eligible for a COVID-19 booster dose. 

  • Pediatricians’ Offices: Call your child’s doctor or nurse to determine vaccine availability.
  • To see all Massachusetts vaccine locations and make appointments, go to vaxfinder.mass.gov or VaxAbilities.com for children with sensory and/or other accommodation needs.

 

Cambridge Vaccination Data

 

Residents who have received at least 1 dose: 106,371

Fully Vaccinated Residents: 86,790

Residents with Booster: 57,001

 

 

Weekly DPH COVID-19 Vaccination Report

 

Total doses administered: 15,195,571

Total booster doses administered: 3,160,084

Total second booster doses administered: 646,930

 

 

DPH Resources on COVID-19 and Monkeypox

 

COVID-19 FAQs: https://bit.ly/3aLrW99

Monkeypox information: mass.gov/monkeypox 

 

This Week’s COVID-19 Case Count 

 

Please note that these are only the reported cases. The actual case counts are underreported due to people using rapid tests at home. According to the CDC, the COVID-19 community level in Middlesex County is Medium. 

 

Massachusetts

Total Cases: 1,803,391

New Cases: 9,954

Total Deaths: 19,898

New PCR Tests: 135,460

 

Cambridge

Total Cases: 31,349

New Cases: 31

Total Deaths: 167

 

State interactive data dashboard: bit.ly/3Pe3hJk

Harvard COVID dashboard: bit.ly/3z8sa3C.

 

Legislative Updates

Please see below for some highlights of the end of formal legislative sessions for 2021-2022. I will share more details along with personal wins in an upcoming email. I am grateful to Speaker Mariano, Chair Michlewitz, and my colleagues for their dedication to taking up bills that protect vulnerable residents of the Commonwealth and reflect the priorities and values of our constituents. 

 

Governor Baker Signs Reproductive Healthcare Bill

On Tuesday the Massachusetts Legislature passed An Act expanding protections for reproductive and gender-affirming care, and Governor Baker signed it into law today. This law ensures insurance coverage for abortion care without copays or delays and access to medication abortion on all public college & university campuses, plus it clarifies that vending machines may dispense OTC drugs such as emergency contraceptives. This law will also ensure protection for providers and out-of-state patients in Massachusetts. I am grateful that the bill I filed to establish a statewide standing order so anyone in Massachusetts can get the emergency contraception that is right for them without delay and with insurance coverage was part of this legislation. 

 

Legislature Approves SAPHE 2.0

On Thursday the Massachusetts Legislature passed An Act relative to accelerating improvements to the local and regional public health system to address disparities in the delivery of public health services, also known as SAPHE 2.0. This legislation establishes an effective and equitable local public health system that recognizes the critical role that local boards of health serve in our communities, from rapidly responding to a pandemic to keeping our water, restaurants, and air safe. This bill ensures greater equity for all 351 cities & towns in Massachusetts. A robust local public health response is our greatest strength and ensures a healthier Commonwealth.

 

Mental Health Services and Resources

If you or a loved one are struggling, please know that you are not alone. There are some great resources here: decker4rep.com/2021/mental-health-services-and-resources/.

 

Intimate Partner Abuse Prevention Helpline

This initiative is designed to prevent intimate partner violence by fostering accountability and change in people who harm or may harm their intimate partner. You can find more information at 10to10helpline.org or by calling 877-898-3411.

 

Where to Give

If you are able to give to others during this time, I encourage you to look to places that are working to help those most affected by COVID-19: decker4rep.com/2021/places-that-are-working-to-help-those-most-affected-by-covid-19/.

 

I also encourage you to donate to the following organizations that are engaging in racial justice work: decker4rep.com/2021/organizations-that-are-engaging-in-racial-justice-work/.

 

As always, do not hesitate to reach out to me with questions or concerns at Marjorie.Decker@mahouse.gov.

 

Sincerely,  

Marjorie

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