Massachusetts receives a limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses from the federal government each week. Starting April 19, everyone 16+ is eligible to receive the vaccine in Massachusetts. But, it may take several weeks to get an appointment. The best way for your patients to decrease a potential waiting time is to pre-register for the vaccine at one of the Mass vaccination sites. Read on for tips on how to encourage your patients to pre-register.
Improving Access to Vaccination
Anyone who lives, works, or studies in Massachusetts can pre-register to get the COVID-19 vaccine at no cost to them. As a provider, your opinion and guidance have a significant impact on patients who are hesitant or in need of more information. Kaiser Family Foundation found that a person's physician or health care provider is the most trusted source for information on the COVID-19 vaccine, with 85% of respondents holding this belief no matter their gender, sex, ethnicity, or political belief.
To start, here are some key facts you can share with patients.
- The vaccines were authorized by the Federal Food and Drug Administration only after they were shown to be safe and effective in studies that included tens of thousands of participants.
- In Massachusetts, a group of infectious disease experts reviewed the safety of the COVID-19 vaccines.
- Since the vaccines were approved, millions of people of different races and ethnicities have been vaccinated, and most have only experienced mild side effects.
- Vaccine developers used existing research and information on coronavirus, a family of viruses known and studied for a long time.
- Patients can get the vaccine if they are undocumented; getting a vaccine will not impact anyone's immigration status.
Utilize our new vaccine resource page
We've created a dedicated vaccine resource page with information you can share with patients that cover vaccine safety, access, and health equity, including:
- Trust the facts. Get the vax. (mass.gov campaign)
- Vaccine safety FAQ (mass.gov)
- Vaccine and pregnancy (mass.gov)
- Videos and FAQ for common vaccine concerns from Lawrence General Hospital
- FAQ in English and Spanish from Greater Lawrence Family Health Center
- Mass General Brigham vaccine FAQ (multiple languages)
The road to population immunity
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease doctor, offered a timeline for ending the COVID-19 pandemic, saying "normality that is close to where we were before" is possible by the end of 2021. Dr. Fauci estimated that 70-85% of the population would need to be vaccinated or immune to reach herd immunity or population immunity. This is when a large part of the population becomes resistant to a virus, through vaccination or infection, and the virus has nowhere to go. Fauci said that high school students might start getting vaccinated in the Fall and younger children in early 2022. This goal is entirely dependent on getting as much of the population vaccinated as soon as possible. Educating your patients to get vaccinated when it's their turn only gets everyone closer to population immunity.