As of Thursday, Feb. 12, people who accompany Massachusetts residents ages 75 and older to get their COVID-19 vaccinations can also be vaccinated at the same time.
Lawmakers are scrambling to close this loophole, according to the Boston Globe.
Some people are using this companion clause as an opportunity to skip ahead in the vaccination line.
The COVID-19 vaccine is being doled out in several phases with medical frontline workers being among the first to receive them and senior citizens in the second phase. For people who do not qualify to be in the second phase - and there are a variety of reasons someone would qualify - then another option to get vaccinated is to bring a senior to an appointment. Otherwise, the third phase of vaccinations is not anticipated to begin until April.
On Wednesday, Feb. 10, an offer was posted to Craigslist in Western Mass by a person offering a free ride to anyone age 75 or older who wants to get vaccinated.
“I am looking to get a vaccine for health reasons and would like to help out someone,” the poster who lives in the Amherst area said.
A person seeking to bring a senior citizen to get vaccinated so that they will schedule the appointment as well as drive. “This will allow me to get the vaccine at the same time,” said the Mansfield poster.
Meanwhile, there is someone out by Boston willing to pay a senior citizen $275 if they will let them bring the elder to get vaccinated. “As I would be helping someone, I too would be getting the vaccine.”
In the Greenfield area, someone was willing to pay $100 to accompany a senior citizen to get vaccinated.
Massachusetts has been criticized for the slow and possible unequal distribution of vaccines across the state. There does not seem to be any rule barring people from pairing up with an elderly stranger to get vaccinated earlier than planned.
Due to high demand, the COVID-19 vaccination supply is low and vaccination appointments are limited, the Massachusetts Department of Health noted on the state’s COVID-19 information website, mass.gov.
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