This week, the Commonwealth announced a new preregistration signup tool will be available for the state’s seven mass vaccination sites starting Friday, March 12.
The new system will make it easier to request and book an appointment at a mass vaccination site at a nearby location when they are available. More sites will be added to the preregistration system in the coming weeks. When preregistration launches on Friday, it will replace the current booking platforms for mass vaccination sites for online booking. The COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line will be available to help residents without internet access or with difficulty using the internet with the preregistration process.
The Commonwealth also announced the weekly distribution of vaccine doses statewide for different providers, reminding residents that there are 170 public vaccination sites statewide in addition to health systems that are offering appointments to their patients.
More information on vaccine sites can be found at: vaxfinder.mass.gov.
The Commonwealth also announced four dedicated educator days at mass vaccination sites and updates on vaccine distribution channels.
Partnering with the Google Cloud Team, the Commonwealth will launch a preregistration system for mass vaccination sites only starting Friday, March 12. This tool will be available at mass.gov/COVIDvaccine. Preregistration will allow eligible residents to book an appointment at one of the state’s seven mass vaccination sites.
Details on the Preregistration Process
Eligible residents will complete the online form at mass.gov/COVIDVaccine to request to book an appointment at a mass vaccination site nearby.
After completing the form, residents will get a confirmation via their preferred method of contact (text, e-mail, phone) and receive a weekly update about their status. Residents may opt out of their preregistration at any time if they secure an appointment elsewhere.
When an appointment becomes available at a mass vaccination site, the resident will be notified and will have 24 hours to accept the appointment once it is offered to them. If an appointment is not accepted after 24 hours, the resident will go back into the queue to wait for another appointment.
To accommodate older residents and others who are unable to use the form, the preregistration form allows family members, caregivers or other companions to fill out the form on behalf of someone else. Residents who do not have internet access or someone to fill the form out for them can call 2-1-1 to preregister.
Available appointments will be offered to residents based on their vaccine eligibility and the availability of appointments at mass vaccination sites nearby. Initially, this program is only for the state’s seven mass vaccination sites. More sites will be added to the pre-registration system in April.
Massachusetts receives a very limited supply of vaccine from the federal government each week. Due to high demand and limited supply, there are only a small number of appointments for eligible residents. Given the limited number of available appointments due to constraints on vaccine supply, it could take several weeks for eligible, preregistered residents to receive a notification about an available appointment.
In addition to preregistering for a mass vaccination appointment, eligible residents are encouraged to book vaccine appointments at any of the 170 public vaccine sites across the Commonwealth. The state has also allocated a supply of doses to certain health care providers, hospitals and community health centers that will provide instructions to their patients on their vaccine process.
Once the preregistration system is launched on Friday, March 12, it will replace the weekly appointment release on Thursdays for mass vaccination sites only. Eligible residents will need to preregister online or contact the call center to request an appointment for a mass vaccination site.
Other Ways to Access a Vaccine Appointment
Eligible residents are encouraged to look for appointments at any of the state’s 170 public vaccine sites by searching vaxfinder.mass.gov. This webpage contains information on locations, hours and instructions to schedule appointments. New appointments are added frequently for many sites.
Vaccine doses are also provided to certain health care providers, hospitals, and community health centers. If you are an eligible patient, please follow instructions from your health care provider on how to access a vaccine.
This week, the state will receive a constrained supply of about 155,000 first doses. First doses and second dose allocations (total doses), were divided among providers as follows:
- Mass vaccination sites: 83,000
- Hospital Providers (both private and public): 79,000
- Regional Collaboratives (12 total): 38,000
- Community Health Centers: 25,000
- Local Boards of Health (to complete 2nd dose appointments and support 20 disproportionately impacted communities): 25,000
Weekly allocations are subject to change based on federal availability, demand from providers, and obligations to meet second doses. Providers have 10 days to use their doses.
In addition to the state allocation, the federal government distributes vaccines to CVS Health sites as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership as well as to certain Massachusetts federally qualified community health centers. These quantities fluctuate on a weekly basis and are not counted as part of the state’s weekly allocation.
This week, 95,000 first and second doses have been allocated to the retail pharmacy program and 19,000 Johnson & Johnson doses have been allocated to the federally qualified health centers.
Individuals looking to book appointments across any of these providers should visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to learn more.
Mass Vaccination Appointments
On Thursday, March 11, over 40,000 new first dose appointments for mass vaccination sites will be made available to eligible groups through the state’s website and the COVID-19 Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line. Additionally, over 40,000 second dose appointments have also been scheduled at mass vaccination sites.
This is the last week that mass vaccination sites will be posted online on Thursday morning. Starting March 12, all mass vaccination appointments will be booked through the pre-registration system.
As more individuals have received a first vaccine dose across the Commonwealth, there is a greater need to book second appointments, so the mass vaccination sites have fewer first dose appointments available on a weekly basis.
Educator Vaccination Days
On March 11, pursuant to a federal directive, approximately 400,000 K-12 educators, childcare workers and K-12 school staff are eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts. K-12 educators, childcare workers and K-12 school staff may receive vaccine from any of the 170 public vaccine sites available on mass.gov/COVIDvaccine.
In an effort to support the Biden-Harris Administration’s directive for states to prioritize teacher vaccinations, the Commonwealth will designate four days where the state’s seven mass vaccination sites will only offer 1st dose appointments for K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff.
These dates are Saturday, March 27, Saturday, April 3, Saturday, April 10, and Sunday, April 11.
Workers in this group must use the pre-registration system to request an appointment at one of the seven mass vaccination sites and attest they are a K-12 educator, childcare worker or K-12 school staff.
All other vaccine providers (including Regional Collaboratives) are encouraged, but not required, to restrict their appointments to K-12 educators, child care workers and K-12 school staff on March 27, April 3, April 10 and April 11, for consistency. Providers may designate alternative dates, in lieu of the four dates designated by the state, if necessary.
Clinics may not restrict access to individuals who live or work in a particular area.
All vaccine providers (including regional collaboratives) must submit their dates for educator clinics by Tuesday, March 16. The Command Center will post the schedule for all clinics next week.
K-12 educators, childcare workers and K-12 school staff are urged to book appointments through mass.gov/COVIDvaccine beginning on March 11 as well as to book through the federal retail pharmacy program’s CVS website. Given the limited supply of vaccine, K-12 educators, childcare workers and K-12 school staff may not receive vaccine until mid-April or later.
Mass Vaccination Locations
- Springfield, Eastfield Mall
- Natick, Natick Mall
- Foxboro, Gillette Stadium
- Danvers, Doubletree Hotel
- Boston, Fenway Park (through 3/27) and Hynes Convention Center (starting 3/18)
- Roxbury, Reggie Lewis Center
- Dartmouth, Former Circuit City
- Barnstable County
- Berkshire County Boards of Health Association
- Franklin County Regional Collaborative
- Harrington Hospital, in Collaboration with LBOH
- Heywood Hospital, in Collaboration with LBOH
- Lawrence General Hospital, in Collaboration with LBOH
- Northampton & Amherst
- Randolph: Collaboration between Avon, Holbrook, and Randolph
- Worcester, Worcester State University, Commonwealth Medicine and St. Vincent Hospital
- Lower Merrimack Valley: Collaboration between Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Merrimack, Newbury, Newburyport, Rowley, Salisbury and West Newbury
- Southern Worcester County Regional COVID-19 Vaccination Coalition: Collaboration between Uxbridge, Northbridge, Mendon, Douglas, Bellingham, Blackstone, Hopedale, Millville, Milford, Oxford, Upton, Sutton