Legislative Update: Week of February 15, 2021

Feb 16, 2021


The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Department of Defense (DOD) announced on Thursday that the United States had purchased 100 million additional COVID-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer/BioNTech and from Moderna. According to the release, each company will deliver 300 million doses each in regular increments through July 2021. The Biden Administration also announced on Wednesday the members of its COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force. Chaired by Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith of the Yale School of Medicine, the 12-person task force will provide recommendations for addressing the health inequities brought on by the pandemic and what can be done to prevent them in the future.

In Massachusetts, the Baker Administration announced that beginning Thursday that the state will allow individuals accompanying adults over 75 years old (Phase 2, Group 1) to mass vaccination sites and community health centers to be vaccinated as well. And on Friday, House Speaker Ron Mariano and Senate President Karen Spilka House announced their House and Senate leadership teams and committee appointments (the Senate appointments can be found here, and the House appointments can be found here).


On Monday, President Biden released a statement announcing that through May 15th, the Administration is “opening HealthCare.gov for all Americans to have the opportunity to sign up for health insurance.”

Beginning Thursday, Massachusetts residents 75 and older can begin making appointments at the Natick and Dartmouth mass vaccination sites. The Natick Mall will open to the public on Monday, February 22 with LabCorp as the provider and is expected to begin administering 500 doses per day, with plans to increase over to 3,000 doses daily. Circuit City in Dartmouth is scheduled to open on Wednesday, February 24 with Curative as the provider and is expected to begin administering 500 doses per day, increasing to 2,000 doses daily. For appointment booking, visit mass.gov/covidvaccine.

Massachusetts has created a process for employers to apply to become a vaccination site for their employees, if they plan on vaccinating more than 200 employees. If companies have less than 200 employees, the state is allowing them to band together and apply collectively. To make it as simple as possible, we are encouraging any company who is looking to other companies to partner with to reach the 200+ threshold to use the post on our LinkedIn Virtual Community to identify others seeking the same. In addition, if you are looking for a vaccine provider to administer the vaccines at your site, the members of the Massachusetts Independent Pharmacists Association and interested in helping. Contact their Exec. Director Todd Brown for more detail at tbrown@mipanet.org. More detail about the state process for applying is available on our COVID-19 Resource page.

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