Sen. Collins calls for expanded vaccine access for seniors and public housing
Urges Administration to Mobilize National Guard for Logistical Support
BOSTON — On Monday State Senator Nick Collins called on the Baker Administration to mobilize the Massachusetts National Guard to assist in facilitating vaccine access for at-risk populations, especially those living in senior and affordable housing developments.
“As the first National Guard unit in the nation, the Massachusetts National Guard has a legacy of service and protection of Massachusetts residents, along with the skills and expertise to assist in the logistical complexities involved in distribution of the vaccine,” wrote Senator Collins.
As frontline healthcare workers, residents over the age of 65, and those with multiple comorbidities, or underlying health conditions, are eligible for the vaccine, setting up an appointment has been difficult for many. This call for National Guard assistance comes after Senator Collins and the Legislature have been successful in partnering with the Administration to improve the website and create a universal call in number. Residents without computers can now call 211 for assistance in dozens of different languages.
Senator Collins and his colleagues were also successful in calling for the inclusion of asthma in the state’s classification of comorbidities, ensuring that low-income residents and communities of color, who have historically faced higher exposure to air pollution and suffer disproportionate rates of asthma, will have an equitable opportunity in accessing the vaccine.
“All of these actions are to make sure that the people of the First Suffolk District, and especially our most vulnerable seniors and low-income residents have equal access to the vaccine,” said Senator Collins. “I am proud to stand with my colleagues in pursuing a smooth and equitable rollout, and believe that the brave women and men of the Massachusetts National Guard can play a critical role in supporting our communities.”