Watertown residents anxiously await the COVID-19 vaccine, but to the chagrin of Health Director Larry Ramdin, he does not have any to distribute.
Last week, Gov. Baker announced that Phase 2 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution would begin on Feb. 1, beginning with people age 75. Second in the order of priority will be people 65 and over and people with two comorbidities
“We are spending a lot of time responding to people’s calls asking for the vaccine,” Ramdin said.
The Health Department vaccinated members of the Watertown Fire and Police departments as part of Phase 1 recently, but Radmin said they were able to get the vaccine through a collaboration with the town’s of Belmont, Arlington and Lexington.
Currently, the vaccine is going to communities with high rates of infection, which does not include Watertown, Ramdin said.
“Communities that had high numbers (are getting the vaccine first), such as Boston, low income neighborhoods especially,” Ramdin said. “Right now we are not there. The vaccine is in extremely short supply.”
Those looking for the vaccine should go to one of the vaccine distribution centers, which include Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium. Some pharmacies will also be getting the vaccine, including CVS Health, Stop and Shop Pharmacies, Retail Business Services at Hannaford, and Wegmans, according to the state’s announcement for Phase 2.
Ramdin said that people with comorbities do not have to have a letter from their doctor, but they are declaring they have a comorbidity under the penalty of perjury.
When the Town receives the vaccine, the older population, particularly those living in Watertown Housing facilities will get it first.
“We will most likely start with the low income, over 75 population at public housing and at our congregate facilities (assisted living and nursing homes),” Ramdin said.
For the latest information on COVID-19 and the vaccine, visit the Town’s COVID-19 Information page, www.watertown-ma.gov/978/Coronavirus. The Health Department also puts out information on Facebook (facebook.com/WatertownMAHealthDepartment), Twitter (twitter.com/watertownhealth) and Instagram (instagram.com/watertownhealth).