People accompanying residents 75+ to vaccine appointments can get their shot, too

BOSTON — Individuals accompanying someone 75 and older to their vaccine appointments at any of the state’s mass vaccination sites can get vaccinated at the same time under a new authorization the Baker administration announced Wednesday.

The new rule allowing companion vaccinations begins Thursday and applies to anyone who accompanies the person to the appointment. The individual must schedule their own appointment for the same day at the same location, and only one person can accompany the 75 and older resident to the appointment, the state said.

The appointments should be scheduled for each person for the same time slot at and the caregiver should select the option: “I am accompanying someone who is age 75+ to their vaccination appointment and my appointment is the same day.” People who cannot access the internet or who need help scheduling can call the state’s vaccination hotline at 211.

Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said the new accommodation for trusted family, friends, neighbors or caregivers to get vaccinated along with vulnerable seniors came after consultation with councils on aging and other advocates for older adults.

The companion may schedule their first dose of the vaccine if the person they’re accompanying is getting the second dose.

The state also announced 74,000 new appointments will be posted Thursday for mass vaccination sites and pharmacies statewide, including more than 53,000 appointments for mass vaccination sites in Springfield, Danvers, Gillette Stadium, and Fenway Park, and 20,000 appointments at new pharmacy locations. The state said over 100,000 appointments in total will be posted online by the end of the week.

The pharmacy appointments include:

  • CVS Health: 21,000 new appointments available Thursday, and another 3,000 appointments added on Friday, Saturday and Sunday
  • Walgreens: 7,620 appointments added this week, with over 1,000 released each day
  • Topco (Wegmans, Big Y, Price Chopper): 3,100 appointments available this week
  • Retail Business Services (Stop and Shop, Hannaford): 2,000 appointments available this week

The state is also adding two new mass vaccination sites: one at the Natick Mall, managed by LabCorp, which will open on Feb. 22, and another in Dartmouth, at the Circuit City, which will be managed by Curative. Appointments for the Natick site will become available to book on on Feb. 18, and the Dartmouth site will open online appointment scheduling on Feb. 24.

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