Expanded Vaccine Eligibility and Updated CDC Guidance

Starting today, residents 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition become eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine.

In addition, Massachusetts is adopting the CDC’s updated list of medical conditions. This week, the CDC added more medical conditions that are linked to an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19. Massachusetts will adopt this guidance and make individuals eligible starting today if they have one of these medical conditions. As a result of adopting the CDC’s list, more residents will be eligible.

55+ and Residents with One Certain Medical Condition

Starting today, residents 55+ and residents with one certain medical condition will be eligible to receive vaccine at any of the Commonwealth’s over 300 vaccination locations, including 269 pharmacy locations. With this group, more than 1 million additional residents will be eligible for vaccine in the Commonwealth.

The full timeline is available at mass.gov/COVIDVaccinePhases

The Commonwealth was informed early this week of a one-time increased shipment of 100,000 J&J vaccines that will arrive in the state early next week. Depending on supply from the federal government, it could take weeks for people to be notified that an appointment is available at a mass vaccination site.

Individuals can learn more about the Commonwealth’s vaccination sites and pre-registration by visiting vaxfinder.mass.gov.

CDC Guidance

In accordance with CDC guidelines, the Commonwealth has adopted recent additions to the list of conditions that cause individuals to be at an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

Individuals with one of the following conditions are eligible on Monday, April 5th:

  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • Chronic lung diseases, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate-to-severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis, and pulmonary hypertension
  • Dementia or other neurological conditions
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
  • Down syndrome
  • Heart conditions (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
  • HIV infection
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system)
  • Liver disease
  • Overweight and obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
  • Smoking, current or former
  • Solid organ or blood stem cell transplant
  • Stroke or cerebrovascular disease, which affects blood flow to the brain
  • Substance use disorders

For individuals that have already pre-registered but would like to update their information to reflect the new medical conditions recognized by the CDC and Massachusetts as of April 5th, the Commonwealth is building a feature for individuals to edit their submission that will be made available soon.

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