On January 13th, the Baker-Polito Administration made updates to include residents and staff of public & private low income and affordable senior housing as a priority group in the Phase 2 (tier 1) COVID-19 vaccine distribution. This would ensure that seniors with low-income, who have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19, will be vaccinated early on in the vaccine distribution process.
The high density environments in senior affordable housing place our buildings at high risk for rapid COVID spread. With many residents in their mid-80s and 90s, such spread would surely result in a very high number of lengthy hospitalizations and death. Many affordable senior housing sites have populations that mirror those in assisted living settings and even nursing homes and need the vaccinations urgently.
CHAPA advocated for residents of state's affordable senior housing to be included in the vaccine priority along with the Federal senior housing and assisted and congregate living setting.
CHAPA thanks the Baker-Polito Administration for including seniors with low-income for vaccine deployment in Phase 2 thus ensuring equitable recovery in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The vaccinations for affordable senior housing are likely to begin by the end of February 2021. Following types of senior housing properties will be prioritized for COVID-19 vaccines in tier one of the Phase two of Vaccine Distribution Plan:
- Public housing properties designated primarily for older adults that are owned/operated by Local Housing Authorities. This includes those public housing properties owned by a Housing Authority but managed by a private company.
- Privately owned properties designated for older adults that are financed in whole or part through resources made available from DHCD, MassHousing, or the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and in which the majority of units are restricted to residents earning less than 80% of Area Median Income
Residents and staff can receive the vaccines on-site or off-site with the help of their existing pharmacy partnerships/medical or community health provider, through their Local Boards of Health, or through a Mass Vaccination Site. Find more information on COVID-19 Vaccine Administration Guidance for Public and Private Low Income and Affordable Senior Housing.
Some federally run senior facilities are already receiving vaccines through the Federal Pharmacy Partnership program. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had recommended that HUD’s Section 202 affordable senior housing be in the first phase of vaccine distribution.
For questions regarding the guidance or implementation of the vaccine deployment options – please contact: SeniorHousingVaccine@mass.gov.