Massachusetts expanded its list of comorbidities eligible for early vaccination on Friday, just days before state residents with one of the conditions began signing up for an appointment.
New additions – which are aligned with recently updated guidelines for disease control and prevention on baseline conditions that put people at increased risk of hospitalization or death due to COVID-19 – include cystic fibrosis, dementia, type 1 diabetes, HIV infection, hypertension , all conditions leading to a weakened immune system, liver disease, thalassemia and substance abuse disorders.
Currently, Massachusetts residents with two or more skilled medical conditions, along with those over the age of 60 and some key workers, are eligible to book vaccinations. The state is also extending its eligibility this following Monday, April 5, to those under the age of 55, in addition to those who have only one of the conditions.
Massachusetts has also aligned its list of certain medical conditions with an update made to the @CDCgov list.
⚕️ Read the list: https://t.co/KTHVgbqSeF
̵1; Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) April 2, 2021
Charlie Baker, who announced the change Friday afternoon, repeatedly declined to say this week whether Massachusetts would make a last-minute change to its list to bring it into line with new CDC guidelines that were revised Monday. Previously, the federal list stopped conditions such as type 1 diabetes, despite recent research showing that those with the disease are just as – if not more – vulnerable to hospitalization and death due to COVID-19 than those with type 2 diabetes.
Massachusetts largely followed previous CDC guidelines, with the exception of asthma, which the Baker administration added to its list of qualifying conditions in February, amid pressure from some senior Democrats and studies showing high levels of asthma and other environmental issues. respiratory disease environment in some of the communities most affected by the pandemic.
CDC Director Dr Rochelle Valensky said the changes, announced Monday, were part of efforts to provide simpler information and “lead science”. Diabetes patients and lawyers later called on managers to follow suit.
Baker told reporters Thursday that his office would potentially discuss the change with the state’s vaccine advisory board, although he noted that the state has not always complied with CDC guidelines.
In the end, however, they did.
Read the full updated list below:
- Chronic kidney disease
- Chronic lung disease, including COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), asthma (moderate to severe), interstitial lung disease, cystic fibrosis and pulmonary hypertension
- Dementia or other neurological conditions
- Diabetes (type 1 or type 2)
- Down syndrome
- Heart disease (such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension)
- HIV infection
- Immunocompromised condition (weakened immune system)
- Liver disease
- Overweight and obesity
- Sickle cell disease or thalassemia
- Smoking, current or previous
- Transplantation of solid organs or blood stem cells
- Stroke or cerebrovascular disease that affects blood flow to the brain
- Disorders of substance use
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