On Friday, Massachusetts expanded the list of comorbidities eligible for early vaccination, just a few days before the state’s residents could start appointments for only one of these conditions.
The newly added content relates to cystic fibrosis, dementia, type 1 diabetes, HIV infection, high blood pressure, all diseases that cause weakened immune system, liver disease, thalassemia and substance abuse disorders.
At present, Massachusetts residents have two or more qualified medical conditions, as well as residents over 60 years of age and certain basic workers, are eligible to make appointments for vaccinations. The state will also extend the eligibility to those under 55 years old by April 5 (Monday), except for one of the individuals who are qualified.
Massachusetts has also adjusted the list of certain medical conditions based on updates made to the @CDCgov list.
Read️Reading list: https://t.co/KTHVgbqSeF
-Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) April 2, 2021
Charlie Baker, who announced the changes on Friday afternoon, has repeatedly declined to say whether Massachusetts will make final changes to its list this week to comply with the new guidelines revised by the CDC on Monday. Although recent studies have shown that people with COVID-19 are as likely to be hospitalized and die of COVID-19 as people with type 2 diabetes (or even more), diseases such as type 1 diabetes are not kept on the federal list. .
Massachusetts basically followed the CDC’s previous guidelines, except for asthma, which was included in the eligibility list by the Baker administration in February. This was due to the pressure of some senior Democratic officials and research showing that asthma and other environmental related issues The incidence of respiratory diseases is high in some of the communities most affected by the pandemic.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the changes announced on Monday are part of an effort to provide simpler information and “science-led”. Diabetics and advocates then urged the governors to follow suit.
Baker told reporters on Thursday that his office may discuss the change with the state’s vaccine advisory committee, although he pointed out that the state does not always align with CDC guidance.
But, in the end, they did it.
Read the complete list of updates below:
- 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 diseases
- Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
- Down syndrome
- Heart disease (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathy or hypertension)
- HIV infection
- A state of weakened immune function (weakened immune system)
- Liver disease
- Overweight and obesity
- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
- Smoking now or before
- Solid organ or blood stem cell transplantation
- Stroke or cerebrovascular disease that affects blood flow to the brain
- Substance use disorder
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