Massachusetts will give the COVID-19 vaccine to all those over 75 years old faster than previously announced after the state made changes to Phase 2 of the vaccine roll-out. The second phase is expected to begin in February 2021, and all people over 75 now will be in the first group of Phase 2 to be vaccinated. People with two or more illnesses that could make COVID-19 worse will still be in the first group of Phase 2.

Once everyone in Phase 1 is vaccinated—frontline medical workers, emergency service workers, people who live in long-term care facilities, and others—people over 75 will be the next group to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Previously, everyone over 65 without co-morbidities were grouped together at the end of Phase 2, which is expected to run from February to April.

This change impacts more than 170,000 people who can now get the shot more quickly. This change comes after the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) updated their recommendation in December. People 75 and older—even with no other health issues—have a much higher risk of developing serious complications from COVID-19. If you’re over 75, we encourage you to get vaccinated as soon as possible.

We expect Phase 2 to begin in February.

Illustration of phases of the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts