Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday the state is developing a plan to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine. The plan lays out the initial steps for a "robust, comprehensive and equitable" vaccine distribution system once one or more vaccines become available.
Officials anticipate limited supply in the early phase and plan to prioritize some health care workers, people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19 – including people with underlying medical conditions and those older than 65 – and other essential workers, Baker said.
"The plan also outlines our messaging efforts to make sure people know once there is a vaccine available, that it has been approved by the federal government and is safe and effective," he said.
"We'll also make it a priority to reach out specifically to groups that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19, including people and communities of color."
Baker called it an interim plan "that will probably change as more information becomes available."
Massachusetts is among the states that has recently seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases. As of mid-last week, a total of 63 communities in the state, including Boston, were considered high risk for virus infections, up from 40 a week before. The designation is based on average daily cases per 100,000 residents, CBS Boston reported. High risk communities are those with over 8 cases per 100,000 residents during the last 14 days.
"While we continue to plan for distribution of a vaccine, we can't take our eyes off the measures that we've been talking about for the last several months to keep people safe," Baker said Tuesday.
late last week that officials are now giving "special attention" to gatherings and house parties "that are putting other people at risk," as the city sees a rise in coronavirus cases.
"We are tracing locations where house parties continue to happen," Walsh said, adding they are working with Boston's Inspectional Services department "to curtail these events."
Roughly half of new cases in the city continue to be in people who are under 30, said Walsh, who advised people to "get on Zoom" and socialize digitally.