On Monday Shirley Nolan, a retired teacher and resident of the Benjamin Healthcare Center in Mission Hill, became the first long-term care resident in Massachusetts to receive the new COVID-19 vaccine. Nolan received her vaccine during a closed media event at the Benjamin Healthcare Center in Mission Hill. “I’m glad that I got a shot of something that can help this virus that’s going around,” Nolan told reporters after receiving the first dose of her COVID vaccine.
“This could be the start of helping people stop dying.” Nolan, a resident of the Benjamin Healthcare Center got her shot at the center’s first floor dining room. The Benjamin Healthcare Center is a Joint Commission, accredited Medicare and Medicaid skilled nursing, rehabilitation, and long care facility on Fisher Avenue in Mission Hill.
This week the Baker-Polito Administration launched a COVID-19 vaccine dashboard to update the public on vaccine distribution and progress on a weekly basis. The dashboard will be posted every Thursday by 5 p.m. and will include information on vaccine supply distribution, administration and other data. The new dashboard can be found on the mass.gov/covidvaccine website. So far the state has vaccinated just over 35,000 during the first wave of vaccinations last week. “This vaccination dashboard report builds on the state’s ongoing efforts to publicly report out data and will help track the state’s vaccination efforts for COVID-19,” said Gov. Charlie Baker.
“Currently, the Commonwealth produces one of the most comprehensive public data reports on COVID-19 in the nation and includes detailed municipal-level data, information on contact tracing, COVID-19 clusters and more.” The state will roll out vaccines during a three phase approach that will take place between now and April. The first phase, which was kicked off last week, includes clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care.
Most health care workers and first responders will be vaccinated at their place of employment. Individuals living and working in long term care will be vaccinated as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program.
Phase II will be between February and March 2021 and will include individuals with two or more comorbid 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.