On Wednesday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued guidance under the Public Readiness and Emergency Preparedness Act (PREP Act) that authorizes qualified pharmacy technicians and State-authorized pharmacy interns to administer childhood vaccines, COVID-19 tests, and COVID-19 vaccines, once available. Additionally, on Thursday the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first treatment for COVID-19, Veklury (remdesivir), for use in hospitalized patients over the age of 12 and weighing at least 88 pounds.
In Massachusetts, Governor Baker outlined the state’s draft plan for distributing a COVID-19 vaccine once one becomes available. Under this plan, frontline health care workers, residents with underlying medical conditions that increase their risks from COVID-19, other essential workers, and adults over 65 will be the first to receive the vaccine in Phase One. Phase Two will prioritize patients of color and those in lower-income areas that have seen higher rates of COVID-19 with help from community health centers. The plan was submitted by the Administration to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Also last week, Governor Baker filed an interim $5.4 billion budget on Wednesday to keep the government open and cover costs for the next month while a FY2021 budget is finalized. If approved, the temporary budget would go into effect on October 31.
On Monday morning, the Massachusetts legislature approved Governor Baker’s interim budget that was filed last week.
Early voting continues this week in Massachusetts. You can find your Early Voting location and times, here. For anyone planning to vote by mail, all must reach local election offices by Wednesday for the upcoming election. Applications may be submitted online, by mail, email, fax, or in-person. Find contact information for your local election office at www.sec.state.ma.us/ele.