Massachusetts on Friday added type 1 diabetes, HIV, being overweight, and having a substance use disorder to the list of health conditions that qualify residents for the current and upcoming phase of COVID-19 vaccinations, aligning the state with recommendations from the federal government.
The additional conditions expand the number of residents who are currently eligible to be vaccinated and who will be eligible when the state opens up appointments to a larger pool on Monday. People with two or more qualifying health conditions are currently eligible to be vaccinated, and on Monday, people 55 and older and those with one qualifying health condition will be able to book appointments. The eligibility pool on Monday will expand by about 1 million people, according to the state.
The change also brings the state in line with recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“This week, the CDC added more medical conditions that are linked to an increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19,” the Baker administration said in a statement on Friday. “Massachusetts will adopt this guidance and make individuals eligible starting April 5th if they have one of these medical conditions. As a result of adopting the CDC’s list, more residents will be eligible starting April 5th.”
Previously, the state listed obesity and severe obesity with a body mass index of 30 kilograms per square meter or higher. The state’s website now lists “overweight and obesity” as qualifying conditions, and directs residents to the CDC’s website to calculate their body mass index.
The state is currently building a tool that will allow preregistered residents to alter their submission if they qualify under the newly added conditions. The feature will be “available soon,” the statement said.
Eligible medical conditions include: cancer; chronic kidney disease; chronic lung diseases including COPD, 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 conditions like heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies or hypertension; HIV infection; an immunocompromised state; liver disease; obesity; pregnancy; sickle cell disease or thalassemia; smoking; solid organ or blood stem cell transplant; stroke or cerebrovascular disease; or substance use disorders.
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