BOSTON (WHDH) - Coronavirus vaccines will be made available to first responders across the Commonwealth starting next week, while some older residents will be moved up in line to get earlier access to the immunization, Gov. Charlie Baker announced Monday.
More than 45,000 police officers, firefighters, and EMTs will start getting the shot on Jan. 11, Baker said during a news conference at the State House.
“With respect to first responders, I think we all agree that vaccine distribution can’t happen fast enough,” Baker said. “These men and women put their lives on the line regularly back before we had COVID-19, and for the last 10 months they kept protecting the front lines…Caring for residents.”
Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, and The Big E fairgrounds will be among a number of “mass vaccination sites” for first responders that will open in the coming weeks.
The mass sites will have the capacity to issue 2,000 vaccinations per day, according to Secretary of Health of Human Services Marylou Sudders.
Local boards of health will provide shots in larger communities, while more than 60 regional vaccination sites will be set up in smaller communities to ensure that first responders get vaccinated.
The vaccination sites will be appointment-based, Sudders noted. Appointment windows are expected to become available later this week.
Some larger qualifying departments will be able to request vaccines to administer on-site.
“All first responders work in risky situations and this vaccine will protect them from COVID and the terrible illness that can come with it,” Baker said.
Frontline health care workers and long-term care facility residents have already started to get vaccinations.
About 287,000 doses of the vaccine have been distributed to health care providers in Massachusetts and about 116,000 have been administered, according to Baker.
The Baker administration also announced that the state will increase the vaccine priority level for residents 75 years of age and older. They are now slated to be among the first to get vaccinated when the second phase of the vaccine rollout begins in February, along with residents of all ages with at least two comorbidities.
Under the state’s original vaccination plan, all adults 65 years of age and older were near the bottom of the list for receiving vaccines in the second phase.
A list of eligibility requirements for first responders can be found here.
To view a full list of vaccination sites, click here.
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