All individuals included in Phase 1 of the Massachusetts vaccine rollout can now get the shot if they want.
Gov. Charlie Baker announced Thursday afternoon that the final two groups in the phase — “home-based health care workers” and “non-COVID-facing health care workers” — are immediately eligible to get the vaccine.
According to the state’s website, the two groups include a wide range of health workers, including personal care attendants, foster care workers, dentists, podiatrists, chiropractors, and school nurses (view the full list below).
However, officials say the new groups do not include medical professionals “who do not come into contact with patients,” such as lab researchers or certain administrative employees, who should wait to get the vaccine until Phase 2 or 3 depending on their age and health status.
The announcement Thursday comes as Massachusetts has already made the vaccine available to frontline health care workers, nursing homes, first responders, and congregate care settings.
Eligible residents may be able to get the vaccine through their employer or primary care physician. If not, the state is in the process of setting up dozens of appointment-based public vaccination sites at hospitals, pharmacies, and — beginning next week — certain grocery stores around the state.
The state has also announced mass vaccination sites at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough and Fenway Park in Boston, the latter of which will open for appointments on Feb. 1.
“We plan to have several more large scale mass vaccination sites like this open soon,” Baker told reporters Thursday after a tour of Gillette Stadium.
Officials have said that Phase 2 — which includes essential workers like teachers and grocery store staff, individuals over the age of 65, and people with health conditions making them vulnerable to COVID-19 — will begin in February.
Baker, who has faced criticism for not expanding the pool of vaccine-eligible individuals as quickly as other states, said Thursday that “we’ll have more to say about when we think the eagle will land on Phase 2” early next week after hearing more about federal vaccine distribution efforts under newly sworn-in President Joe Biden.
Here’s the full list of individuals who are newly eligible to get the vaccine under the announcement Thursday:
- Home-based health care workers
- PT/OT/SLP therapists who work with medically complex home students
- Personal Care Attendants (PCAs)
- Home Health, hospice, and home care agency staff performing visits in the home
- Independent Nurses and Continuous Skilled Nursing staff performing visits in the home
- Aging Service agency staff performing regular visits in the home
- State Agency staff performing direct care in the home, including DCF Emergency Response Workers, DMH case managers and DDS care coordinators
- Mental and behavioral health providers providing in home treatment (e.g., ACCS integrated team, PACT, CBHI, ABA, ESP)
- Adult Foster Care and Group Adult Foster Care workers performing work in the home
- Independent Therapists (physical therapists, occupational therapists, Speech & Language therapists) performing work in the home
- Home-Based Respite and Individual/Family Support staff (DDS and DDS Self Directed)
- Health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care, including:
- Dentists/dental students, and dental hygienists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients such as Oral Surgeons covering the ER, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
- Medical and nursing students (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
- Inpatient and outpatient physical therapists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspect patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
- Interpreters who work in hospitals (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
- Behavioral health clinicians not already covered in congregate care or direct care;
- Non-COVID facing Laboratorians;
- Blood donation workers;
- Organ donation procurement worker;
- Hospice/palliative care professionals;
- Non-COVID facing Imaging Professionals;
- Dialysis center workers and patients;
- Audiologists and speech and language pathologists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
- Podiatrists and pedorthists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing);
- Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) staff;
- SUD treatment program staff (if program is non-residential);
- Asthma and allergy specialists;
- Diagnostic sleep testing center staff;
- School nurses (other than those working as vaccinators/testers)
- Members of the clergy (if working in patient-facing roles)
- Individuals who do not come into contact with patients (e.g., back office, remote work, administrative staff who do not come into contact with patients, laboratory researchers who do not come into contact with patients) are not prioritized in Phase 1 and should be prioritized in Phase 2 or Phase 3 depending on each individual’s age, comorbidity status, or other worker category.