On Tuesday, we reached a staggering milestone — 100 million known coronavirus cases worldwide. Within Massachusetts, as the state builds its vaccine rollout plan, many residents are hopeful they’ll get the vaccine sooner rather than later. But questions around the vaccine development and distribution still remain.
Although the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines have been approved and distributed across the U.S., the rollout rate varies widely by state. Alaska, West Virginia, New Mexico, and Connecticut currently rank the highest in terms of the percentage of the population who have received at least one vaccine dose. Alaska, for example, has vaccinated 11% of its population with their first dose. In contrast, 5.5% of Massachusetts residents have received the vaccine.
According to Mass.gov, the state is currently in the process of vaccinating all priority groups in Phase 1, which includes health care workers, first responders, long-term care facility staff, and residents of congregate care settings (i.e. shelters and prisons). Amid what Dr. Ashish Jha called a “race against the variant(s)”, Gov. Charlie Baker has also announced the next stage of immunization. Beginning February 1, Phase 2 will begin with individuals 75 or older, and who were not already eligible in Phase 1. The state is expected to make the vaccine available to the general public in April 2021 as part of Phase 3.
According to a survey Boston.com conducted last month, more than two-thirds of respondents indicated that they would roll up their sleeves for the vaccine once it becomes available to them. However, not everyone is convinced. Whether it’s regarding the safety of the newly developed mRNA vaccines, or its overall effectiveness, some still remain ambivalent.
While we wait for the state to expand its vaccination rollout program, we want to know: What are your biggest COVID-19 vaccine questions and concerns? Let us know in the survey below or e-mail [email protected], and we’ll share the answers to your top questions in an upcoming Boston.com article.
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