We’Ve also made improvements to the booking process by developing new tools on our website and opening a call center to assist residents who can’t book appointments online so far, we’ve administered here in the commonwealth, with our provider partners over 1.1 million doses, we now rank number nine In the country for first dose, vaccinations per capita and the commonwealth is ranked number one in the country for total shots administered per capita among the 24 states that have my more than five million people. Thanks to all that progress, effective thursday february 18th, individuals, 65 and older and individuals with two or more certain medical conditions will be eligible to get vaccinated. We also added asthma to the list of medical conditions that can qualify for this group. Secretary sutters will share more details on the full list in a moment, but they will be available on our website. Starting thursday eligible residents can visit mass.gov covid vaccine to book an appointment, it’s important to note here that new appointments will appear on the website starting tomorrow morning, around 8 a.m. There’S no reason to stay up all night. These two groups that we’re now opening up the vaccination process to represent approximately a million people it’s important to remember the federal government only sends states a small amount of vaccine every week. For the last several weeks, the federal government has shipped about 110 000. First doses per week to the commonwealth of massachusetts: unless we see a massive increase in shipments from the feds, it will take us at least a month for purple people in these new groups to be able to book their first vaccine appointment and believe me.
We all know this sounds like a long time, but the demand is so much greater than the supply that we’re getting at this point in time. We all remain hopeful that those numbers will increase from the federal government as we go forward, but it’s important for people to understand that at this point in time, it’s about 110 000 new doses a week for first doses, and we now have a group that represents Somewhere around a million people that’s going to be joining the ranks of those who are eligible as soon as we get official guidance from the feds that we’re getting a bigger supply, we’ll be ready and we’ll make sure to incorporate that into the delivery community. That we’ve been working with and will obviously let everybody know so that they can take advantage of that. But until then we have to ask everybody to be patient there’s, going to be vaccine eventually for everyone, and everyone will get an appointment it’s just going to take a little while – and i know for a lot of people that’s an enormous source of frustration and while Our weekly supply ship to massachusetts from the federal government is steady. Our administration continues to build capacity to administer shots at more and more locations so that people have more places to go, but in addition to that, we’ll be ready. If and when the federal supply. On a weekly basis goes up tomorrow morning, thousands of new appointments at massvax sites will be posted online for booking for the following week.
Over 70 000 appointments will be available at the mass vaccination sites, and other appointments will be posted throughout the week for sites like pharmacies and some of the regional collaboratives details for booking. These appointments can be found via the new covet 19 vaccine finder, which allows residents to search for a vaccine, location and view appointment, availability at many sites before scheduling after many days of very interesting conversations with our colleagues at cvs. Starting this week, the number of appointments available at cvs locations will also be visible through this tool as well, and the tool can be accessed via the state’s vaccination website at mass.gov covid vaccine people, who are unable to use the website to make an appointment via the Internet can continue to call 2 1 1 and follow the prompts for vaccine appointments again. I know this is the third time i said it, but over a million people will now be eligible, but if we continue to only get 110 000 first doses of vaccine each week from the feds, it will take a while at least a month for everybody to Get appointments and get their first vaccination. As i said earlier, massachusetts is now a top ten state for first doses, as we continue to ramp up and move forward. This is particularly important for communities that are disproportionately impacted by covet 19 to ensure equity statewide. Over the last few days, the command center and department of public health have started new initiatives to improve and increase access and help communities who are hit hardest by the pandemic.
Utilizing the cdc’s social vulnerability index as a starting point. The department of public health has identified 20 municipalities that have had the greatest covert burden and the greatest percentage of non white residents. These communities are boston, brockton, chelsea, everett fall river, fitchburg, framingham, haverhill, holyoke lawrence leominster, lowell lynn, malden, methuen, new bedford, randolph, revere springfield and worcester dph. Commissioner, monica burrell has reached out to all of these communities, so the state can work with them to assist them in increasing vaccine awareness, addressing vaccine hesitancy and mitigating barriers to vaccine access, and the administration will also work with their local boards of health to streamline access And increase efficiency. Our goal is to build more efficient vaccination sites, regionally than can vaccinate people more quickly. Secretary sutters today began working with local boards of health who’ve been offering small scale vaccine clinics to begin transitioning. These operations to serve homebound, seniors individuals who participate in meals on wheels programs and others who are unable to travel on their own to any of the vaccine sites that are currently available where there’s a geographic need. The state will also work with local boards of health to set up additional regional collaboratives, which have proven so far the ones that are in place to be enormously effective. Lieutenant governor polito will talk more about that. The 28 hardest hit, municipalities that i just mentioned will continue to distribute vaccine at the local level, are prioritized for retail pharmacy programs and are served by community health centers, which are also prioritized and other healthcare providers administering vaccine.
As we move forward through the vaccination phases, we need to continue to make sure that we have locations that can distribute the doses quickly and efficiently and effectively. What worked for the early targeted populations in phase one is a lot different than what’s going to work for the millions of people across the commonwealth, who are eligible in phases. Two and three we’re enormously grateful for all the health care workers and personnel who helped us stand up all these vaccination centers and that work has made massachusetts a top ten state for vaccinations. But we all know we have a lot more to do and a significant way to go to get to the point where everybody who wants a vaccination can get it. None of us thinks this program is moving fast enough, but you can’t vaccinate people if you don’t have the vaccine to make it available, but we do expect and anticipate that we will see an increase going forward from the feds, which is why it’s important for us To have significant capacity in place to be able to make quick adjustments based on weekly supply, as i said beginning tomorrow, with an addition, an additional 1 million people eligible to receive the vaccine and 70 000 new appointments coming online. The amount of new appointments will be limited unless and until we see significant increases from the feds for people who are seeking to make an appointment remember to be patient because, as i said, it may take at least a month for everybody.
Who’S part of this new group to get an appointment and to get their first vaccination visit mass.gov covet 19. Excuse me, covid vaccine, to use the appointment, finder tool and find a vaccination site. That’S convenient for you and everyone that wants a vaccine will be able to get one.