January 27, 2021 by Carol Britton Meyer
While the town has limited access to vaccines at this time, Town Administrator Tom Mayo said the Massachusetts Department of Public Health is doing its best to work through the vaccine rollout.
"To say it's a fluid process is an understatement," he said. "There are changes and tweaks daily."
Selectmen Chair Mary Power said during last night's remote selectmen's meeting that according to reports in the media, "the challenge is getting the vaccines into people's arms. Our hope over the next few weeks will be an improved vaccine delivery system in Hingham," she said. "We're ready to do our part to vaccinate our citizens, and we thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we move through this."
Mayo noted that Hingham's first responders have already been vaccinated. "Paramedics from the fire department have raised their hands to help administer vaccines [here in Hingham]. These are our neighbors -- the folks on the front line, and we appreciate their support and willingness to help."
The town is continuing to hold vaccination clinics for home health care workers and non-COVID-facing health care workers as part of Phase 1 of the state’s vaccine rollout plan and is also ready to begin holding vaccination clinics for Phase 2 individuals "as soon as we receive sufficient vaccine supplies from the state," Mayo said.
Phase two begins next Monday, Feb. 1. Individuals 75 years or older will now be the first priority group in Phase 2; individuals 65 years and older and those with two comorbidities are now the second priority group in this phase.
"We understand and recognize that these vaccines are important to many of our residents, and we will continue to keep the community updated on the progress of vaccine distribution as part of Phases 2 and 3," Mayo said.
Town officials will communicate with residents as additional vaccine supplies are provided by the state for use in Hingham -- on the town website, hingham-ma.gov, through social media, the local press, in emails, and through other channels to inform residents about how to schedule an appointment.
The Department of Elder Services will reach out to seniors to ensure they are made aware of clinics and to help them register for the vaccine as needed.
·"Many of the guidelines and vaccine distribution capabilities are controlled by the MDPH, and we encourage all residents to continue to follow the state’s official COVID-19 website for the most up-to-date information," Mayo said. This page can be found by visiting mass.gov and clicking on the COVID-19 link.
Anyone with questions about how to get a vaccine can visit mass.gov/COVIDvaccine to find the phase and priority group that relates to them. Those with questions about the vaccine may also contact the state by emailing COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.
Residents are also encouraged to visit the town website for information on current data and resources -- hingham-ma.gov/COVID19.
Mayo reminds residents to avoid high-risk activities, especially indoor social gatherings. "In addition, all Massachusetts residents remain under orders from the governor to wear masks at all times while in public," he said.