COVID-19 VACCINE Clinics
The Board of Health Vaccine Advisory Group is working tirelessly to prepare for community COVID-19 Vaccine clinics. Updates and information will be posted here. Thank you for your patience as we prepare for this important public health initiative. (Updated 2/22/2021)
Massachusetts Current Vaccination Status: Everyone in Phase 1 and specific groups of Phase 2; Details HERE
On February 17th Boards of Health were informed by the state that on February 18th Phase 2 of vaccine eligibility would be expanded to include individuals ages 65 and over, as well as those ages 16 and over with two or more eligible medical conditions. Boards of Health were also notified that, due to limited vaccine supply, the state would not be providing vaccines to individual municipal clinics and would be prioritizing high-capacity vaccination sites and sites serving communities disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. This meant that Carlisle’s vaccine clinics as we had envisioned and planned them would not occur.
We understand this is hugely disappointing news for seniors who had been expecting to receive the vaccine in February or March at the Congregational Church. It has also been frustrating and disappointing for the many town employees, officials and volunteers who devoted an enormous amount of thought, time, and energy into meeting the requirements understood at the time to be necessary for providing vaccine clinics in Carlisle.
The Board of Health and the Vaccine Advisory Group will continue to explore options for regional collaboration, and as the vaccine supply increases clinic plans will continue to evolve. It is our common goal to assist all eligible Carlisle residents to obtain the vaccine as quickly and as easily as possible. The following information is current as of February 18th. The best place to check for updates is on the Massachusetts COVID-19 website, mass.gov/covid.
Additional guidance when searching for vaccine locations:
Mass Vaccination Sites – These high-capacity sites, which receive the greatest number of doses and have the highest number of available appointments, include Gillette Stadium, Fenway Park, The DoubleTree Hotel in Danvers, the Eastfield Mall in Springfield, the Natick Mall and Circuit City in Dartmouth. These sites currently post new appointments on Thursdays. We have received positive feedback from residents who have had their first vaccines at Gillette Stadium or the DoubleTree in Danvers. They report that these sites were well-organized, easy to navigate, and have accessible parking, drop-off, and pick-up areas. The Natick Mall is also accessible with plenty of parking, and at 25 miles from Carlisle is the closest of the mass vaccination sites.
General and Local Sites – These include healthcare locations, pharmacies, grocery stores, and clinics. Two sites that had good availability when the COA were working with seniors 75 and older include the Lowell General Hospital mass vaccine site at Cross River Center, 1001 Pawtucket Boulevard East in Lowell, www.lowellgeneralvaccine.com, and the Needham Public Health Clinic, Center at the Heights, 300 Hillside Ave in Needham, which can be accessed on the state vaccine website, https://vaxfinder.mass.gov/. We received positive feedback on these sites from residents following their appointments.
COA Assistance and Transportation – The COA will do our best to arrange transportation with our drivers to any site within 25 miles of Carlisle. This includes the Lowell General Hospital and Natick Mall sites. If you have an appointment to a site outside of this range and need transportation, we may be able to provide a volunteer driver. These volunteers are Carlisle residents who have had COA-run background checks. COA staff is available to help seniors identify and book appointments over the phone. Call the COA at 978-371-2895 to request assistance.
Veterans - The Bedford VA is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to enrolled Veterans age 50 and older. The vaccination clinic at Bedford is open daily from 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., with the last appointment scheduled for 4:45 p.m. Veterans may call the Vaccination Call Center at 781-687-4000 to make an appointment. This line is open weekdays only from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Any veteran who is not enrolled in VA healthcare, but interested in getting the vaccine, can visit VA’s Eligibility page to determine their eligibility for VA healthcare and start the enrollment process, if applicable.
Please visit the Commonwealth’s webpage for current vaccination sites: LINK HERE
Who is Eligible?
As of February 18th, Phase 2 includes residents ages 65 and older, residents ages 16 and older with 2 or more eligible medical conditions, and all groups that were eligible in Phase 1. Eligible medical conditions include asthma, cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, Down Syndrome, heart conditions, immunocompromised due to solid organ transplant, obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, smoking and Type 2 diabetes.
Please refer HERE for updated list of who is eligible for the COVID vaccine.
When scheduling your appointment or at the time of the appointment, you will be required to review the eligibility criteria and confirm you are eligible to receive the vaccine. The attestation will be done verbally over the phone, verbally or in writing at the vaccination site, or online if using an online appointment scheduling tool with the COVID-19 Massachusetts Vaccination Attestation Form. When the appointment is scheduled, the vaccination site will provide specific details on any information you may need to bring to the appointment. If you have an insurance card, please bring it with you to the appointment, although it is not required to receive the vaccine. You will not need to provide a Social Security card or government issued identification to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. You will never be asked for a credit card number to make an appointment
Massachusetts vaccine scheduling is available online through the new website: VaxFinder.mass.gov The new website promises simpler, uncluttered, interface for users to enter their location and find sites near them with available vaccine.
Constituent Services Resource on Scheduling 75+ COVID-19 Vaccine Appointments
The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is currently only for individuals ages 75 and older who cannot use or have difficulty accessing the internet and therefore are unable to schedule an appointment through the online platforms. The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line is only able to support individuals with scheduling an appointment and representatives are not able to answer general questions about COVID-19 or provide individual health care advice.
Call 2-1-1 and follow prompts
The Massachusetts Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line Hours of Operations: Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM
These representatives have the same access to appointments as on the public website; it will not give individuals access to additional appointments. If no appointments are available, callers will have the option to be placed on a call back list for the mass vaccination sites. The caller will receive a call back when an appointment becomes available for them at a mass vaccination site, and the list will be called on a first-come, first-served basis. The quickest and easiest way to schedule a vaccine appointment or check availability is to use the online system LINK HERE
COVID-19 Vaccine Importance and Safety
The COVID-19 vaccines are safe. The available COVID-19 vaccines are approved and recommended by the FDA and the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices following standard testing and approval processes. The vaccine will work with your immune system so it will be ready to fight the virus. Vaccines undergo rigorous testing and large clinical trials before they are approved for widespread use. Vaccination is the best protection for these individuals to reduce the risk of severe illness due to COVID19. Getting vaccinated may also protect others around you who have not yet received the vaccine. It will be important to continue to wear masks any time you are outside of your home until enough people are vaccinated. While the vaccines have been shown to be effective in helping the person vaccinated not get seriously ill from COVID-19, they have not yet been proven to reduce that person’s ability to transmit COVID-19 to others. Until we know more, continue to stay at least six feet away from other people, wear a mask, and wash hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer. If you have any concerns about getting the vaccine due to a medical condition, please discuss these concerns with your primary care physician. For more information on COVID-19 vaccine safety LINK HERE.
Additional COVID Vaccine Information Resources:
- COVID-19 Vaccine Information in Massachusetts
- Latest COVID-19 Vaccine Updates in Massachusetts
- COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Timeline and Eligibility
- Current COVID-19 Vaccine Locations
- Information for staff and residents of long term care facilities, ALRs and Rest Homes
- Information for residents and staff of affordable senior housing
- Information for home based health care workers
- COVID-19 Vaccine Frequently Asked Questions
- COVID-19 Vaccine Safety
- Sign-up for COVID-19 Alerts
- Weekly MA Covid-19 Vaccine Report
- Vaccine Distribution Phase Overview
- Moderna - FDA issued Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) - December 18, 2020