“I called my primary care physician’s office and they heard nothing. I called the town nurse and she didn’t know. I asked and asked and asked,” McQuilken said, and he was struggling. Pointed out that he has the ability to ask, because “when you have people over 75, you are in contact with medical staff.”
Thousands of Massachusetts seniors are in the same place as McQuilken. The second round of the Baker administration’s launch of vaccines, which includes elderly people, is linked to the timetable announced last month and is scheduled for February. People 75 and over should be at the forefront of the team.
But state officials only notified family health workers last week (the population planned to be vaccinated in January is much smaller), and the injections were not started until February 1
In turn, this may delay the vaccination of 750,000 high-risk residents over 75 years of age-the number of residents vaccinated has almost tripled since the state began its promotion last month. A proposal issued by the Trump administration on Tuesday calls for states to immediately start vaccinating all Americans under the age of 65, which may make the state’s work more difficult. Governor Charlie Baker said that New York State will ask its COVID-19 advisory group to consider whether to lower the age limit for the next round of vaccines to 65.
The elderly and their advocates say the delay in vaccinating home health workers has increased the risk of homeless people who rely on them to help bathe, dress and prepare meals. Lisa Gurgone, executive director of Mass Home Care, said: “These workers are outside the community and should be vaccinated as soon as possible.” The company provides services to approximately 60,000 elderly people at home across the state.
The availability of vaccines depends largely on where the elderly live. Those in nursing homes or other long-term care facilities are already vaccinated. But residents over 75 who live in low-income high-end apartments operated by public housing authorities and some non-profit organizations are waiting to learn when and where to vaccinate. Many people lived in their apartments for several months and experienced physical and cognitive decline.
Andrew DeFranza, executive director of the non-profit organization Harborlight Community Partners, said: “You already have this method of piecing together.” The organization runs data centers in Beverly, Rockport, and Ipswich. Ten subsidized high-end housing. “These people are very weak and very vulnerable. They live in affordable high-end housing but are not yet eligible for vaccinations.”
State officials ship the first batch of vaccines directly to hospitals and long-term care facilities, where employees are qualified to administer vaccines. However, logistics has become more complicated this week, when the state designated 119 smaller and more dispersed sites, including schools and high-level centers, to provide first responders such as police, firefighters, and emergency medical technicians. vaccination. As the scale of deployment expands, some of these sites may also be used for the elderly and the general population.
The challenge will increase again when people who are over 75 years of age living independently or living in high-end housing not covered by the first stage vaccines are vaccinated. And pressure to accelerate the pace of vaccination is increasing.
“Everyone feels that we are not doing fast enough,” said Elissa Sherman, president of Leading Age in Massachusetts, which represents aging service providers and non-profit senior housing operators. “The elderly have undertaken [pandemic] Now that I have been burdened for 10 months, everyone is eager to get vaccinated as soon as possible. “
Baker said on Tuesday that Gillette Stadium in Foxboro has been selected as the state’s first regional “mass vaccination site.” The governor said the site will be operated by CIC Health, Brigham and Women’s Hospital will serve as the medical director, and the Fallon ambulance will provide staffing support.
Baker said that the first responder’s vaccine will start on Thursday, initially serving about 300 people a day, but eventually increasing to about 5,000 people a day, and “this number may increase significantly over time.”
The governor said his government had received 141,000 doses of the vaccine as of last Thursday and is currently accelerating the introduction of the vaccine. But he said that this depends on the distribution of vaccines coordinated by the federal government, which will notify the delivery time of each dose of vaccine in a short time.
Baker said: “We will take action as soon as the distribution plan develops.” As of last Thursday, the state had reported receiving 328,000 doses, not enough to enter the next stage of vaccination.
This new federal recommendation may make another 560,000 residents between the ages of 65 and 74 eligible for vaccination, which complicates the already arduous task of Massachusetts officials. Baker said his COVID-19 advisory committee will study the plan, although other governors, including New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, have indicated that they will lower their age to 65.
Some public health experts questioned the slow pace of implementation of the Trump administration’s proposals so far and how realistic the many obstacles to vaccination are.
“At present, the country is unable to vaccinate all of the first priority groups,” said Howard Ke, a professor at Harvard University’s Chen School of Public Health and a former assistant secretary of health in the Obama administration. “We need more detailed information on whether the available vaccine doses can still meet the needs of people over 65.”
More than 75 residents living in nursing homes and assisted living centers have received their first vaccinations through a federal pharmacy partnership with CVS and Walgreens to operate on-site clinics. Pharmaceutical companies also opened clinics this week in rest homes and some private senior living places and continuing care retirement communities, so that residents can get multiple levels of care in one campus.
“After people are vaccinated, we will open up community life again. People yearn for it.” 2Life community president Amy Schectman (Amy Schectman) said, he said that residents are mostly restricted to their organizations in Brighton, Brook Lin, Newton, and Framingham’s subsidized high-end living rooms.
But residents of other affordable housing units, including those operated by more than 200 public housing authorities, have not been given the opportunity to sign the federal pharmacy program-they don’t know why.
Executive Director of the Chelmsford Housing Authority and New York State President David National Association of Housing and Reconstruction Officials Massachusetts Chapter. “All senior citizens in subsidized housing should be vaccinated.”
Martin Finucane of Globe employees contributed to this story.
You can contact Robert Weisman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeRobW.