State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen) is calling on the Baker Administration for clearer communication and increased information as residents across Massachusetts struggle to obtain access to the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a letter, dated January 27 and sent to Governor Charlie Baker and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders, DiZoglio noted she has heard from many residents who expressed concerns around the rollout of the vaccine.
“Our communities need to know where, when and how they can receive this vaccine,” said DiZoglio in the letter. “That is simply not the case right now.”
DiZoglio noted particular concern around the state’s COVID-19 vaccine website, which residents have described to her as a “dead end” in their efforts to obtain an appointment. Moreover, much to the frustration of residents without internet access, the Commonwealth does not presently offer a phone line that can be called to make a vaccine appointment. DiZoglio called on the Administration to establish such a hotline as soon as possible.
Also raised by DiZoglio were concerns around who is receiving the vaccine first.
“I have heard from many in my community who are rightfully perplexed and frustrated by the Administration’s prioritizing of young, healthy medical researchers – most of who are working remotely – over at-risk seniors, who have been waiting patiently on the sidelines for the vaccine,” said DiZoglio. “Seniors in other New England states – Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont – have been receiving the vaccine while researchers, many of who have nothing to do with COVID-19 or patient care at all, are ahead of the line in Massachusetts.”
According to the latest data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Massachusetts ranks 37th in the nation in administration of the COVID-19 vaccine.