Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration announced Wednesday that Massachusetts will expand its COVID-19 vaccine rollout to residents of all ages with multiple health conditions that put them at an increased risk of severe illness due to COVID-19, along with anyone over the age of 65.
The list of qualifying health conditions — ranging from cancer to heart disease to obesity to being a current or former cigarette smoker — is mostly based on federal guidelines on which underlying conditions are shown to put individuals at increased risk of hospitalization or death due to COVID-19.
Under the Massachusetts rollout, individuals with two or more of these medical conditions can begin booking appointments this Thursday. Individuals with just one of these medical conditions will be eligible at the end Phase 2.
- Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
- Chronic kidney disease
- COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
- Down Syndrome
- Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
- Obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher but < 40 kg/m2)
- Severe Obesity (BMI ≥ 40 kg/m2)
- Sickle cell disease
- Type 2 diabetes mellitus
Adults with some other underlying health conditions “might be at an increased risk” of complications due to COVID-19, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the Baker administration did add one of those conditions, asthma, to the state’s list of qualifying conditions Wednesday.
However, under the current guidelines, these other conditions alone do not make individuals eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 2 of the Massachusetts rollout:
- Cerebrovascular disease (affects blood vessels and blood supply to the brain)
- Cystic fibrosis
- Hypertension or high blood pressure
- Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from blood or bone marrow transplant, immune deficiencies, HIV, use of corticosteroids, or use of other immune weakening medicines
- Neurologic conditions, such as dementia
- Liver disease
- Overweight (BMI > 25 kg/m2, but < 30 kg/m2)
- Pulmonary fibrosis (having damaged or scarred lung tissues)
- Thalassemia (a type of blood disorder)
- Type 1 diabetes mellitus
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