Last Tuesday afternoon healthcare workers from the East Boston Neighborhood Health Center received their second dose of the Moderna vaccine for Covid-19. EBNHC medical staff received the first round of the Moderna vaccine, which is given in two doses 28 days apart, in December.
“I’m thankful to our vaccine team who have been focused on vaccinating our staff as quickly and efficiently as possible”, said EBNHC Vice President of Human Resources Steven Snyder. “We are still giving out first doses and have just completed our first week of second doses and are close to 75 percent of our staff vaccinated. Staff have been thrilled to receive the vaccine, especially those treating COVID patients day in and day out.”
The Health Center’s Infectious Disease Director and Adult Medicine Doctor, Dr. Jaime Gallegos-Salazar, MD was the first person in Massachusetts to receive the Moderna vaccine on December 21 and then his second shot last week.
Based on evidence from clinical trials, the Moderna vaccine was 94.1 percent effective at preventing laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 illness in people who received two doses who had no evidence of being previously infected.
According to the CSC the vaccine appeared to have high effectiveness in clinical trials (efficacy) among people of diverse age, sex, race, and ethnicity categories and among persons with underlying medical conditions.
Although few people in the clinical trials were admitted to the hospital, this happened less often in the people who got the Moderna vaccine compared to people who got the saline placebo.
Last week the Baker-Polito Administration announced that all residents in Phase One of the state vaccine distribution plan are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, effective immediately.
State residents eligible for vaccine immediately under Phase One include: COVID-facing healthcare workers; Long term care facilities (LTCF) residents and staff; First Responders (EMS, Fire, Police); Congregate Care setting residents and staff (including corrections and shelters); Home-based healthcare workers; and Non-COVID-facing healthcare workers.
Eligible residents can now make appointments to receive vaccines at more than 150 locations across the state. These locations can be found at https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-vaccine-locations-for-individuals-in-phase-1#find-a-location-to-get-vaccinated-if-eligible-
Additional mass vaccination sites, pharmacy sites, and community clinic sites will open in more locations on a rolling basis.
So far the state has vaccinated close to 360,000 people with 86,230 doses administered last week alone.
The state will roll out vaccines during a three phase approach that will take place between now and April.
Phase II will be between February and March 2021 and will include individuals with two or more co-morbid conditions with a high risk for COVID-19 complications; other workers including early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, restaurant and cafe workers; employees across the food, beverages, agriculture, consumer goods, retail, and foodservice sectors; meatpackers; sanitation, public works and public health workers, vaccine development workers, food pantry workers, Uber/Lyft/rideshare services, pharmacy delivery drivers, workers in the passenger ground transportation industry; water and wastewater utility staff; and adults 65 and over.
Starting in April the state anticipates the vaccine will be available to the general public once the higher risk groups in Phase I and II receive their vaccines.