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On the one hand, our vaccine effort has kind of sucked; on the other hand, at least nobody's getting the flu

A Kennedy School professor gave the medical mecca of the universe an F for its Covid-19 vaccination program so far - a program for which the governor has had to call out the National Guard because all these old people were being forced to stand outside for hours to get a shot in Springfield.

And let's not forget the state shot signup site so bad a software engineer on maternity leave and a volunteer group built better Web sites, ones that people could use without smacking their foreheads in frustration.

The good news is that so far, Massachusetts doctors are seeing hardly any flu cases.

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Comments

But it seems like wearing masks during flu season is a good way to avoid it. Probably reduces summer cold too!

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Along with handwashing, reducing gathering and contact between people, etc. A big push to get our already high flu vaccination rate higher also helps. Layers upon layers of protection.

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Its the masks and distancing and vaccination keeping the flu at bay.

Not that handwashing isn't a great idea for staying healthy.

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I am seen by primary care at Boston Medical Center. While seeing a specialist there on Monday for a routine visit I inquired about their roll-out of the vaccine. I am a registered user of their patient-doctor communication system and had received an email saying they would soon have it to give out about 2 weeks ago.

To my surprise the doctor looked in the computer and said they had started already, and would flag me as eligible (I was, due to age and co-morbidity for this phase). He gave me papers and sent me to another floor and stated if it was too crowded to go home and call their own special inside number they have for patients to get the vaccine and set up an appointment that way. They are spacing them 10-mins apart since they need to record details and go through a Q&A.

I arrived where the distribution was being given in the same building and there were only 2 in front of me so I stayed and got my first shot. This was completely unexpected but the opportunity presented itself.

I did not have to deal with the state web site or call center. The hospital had me in their system and had their own internal process to make it happen. On my way out I also had to schedule the follow-up for the second shot in one month. I had a range of dates and times to choose from.

When I got home a robo call came in from the hospital telling us that we were eligible (based on medical history in their system) and to call their inside number to make the appointment. My wife is now set to get her first shot while there for a routine appointment in a week from now. Two birds with one stone so to speak.

By the time my wife gets in for her first injection they will have 2 sites on campus for distribution running and they expect to roll out a 3rd soon, also on campus.

So people that are seen with any regularity by their doctor, or with some regularity at a hospital clinic should contact them to see what their plans are. It may be as hassle-free as we experienced.

As to side effects there were none. I sat and chatted with hospital staff while waiting the required 15-20 minute period to see if you have a reaction. There were no lingering effects that day. The following morning I had some achiness in the injection site and by day 3 nothing was evident. The allergic reactions are usually due to the solution used to convey the medication, so if you have not had a reaction to injections in the past it is generally unlikely that you will with this.

Also the TV scenes we are watching seem to show them using a rather large needle. In fact what I experienced was a rather small one that they use for general injections and things like flu shots. I frankly didn't even feel it.

So for us, we did not, nor will we experience any of these hassles that are being reported on TV and in other news sites. Maybe this is because we see a doctor with regularity? Maybe it is because they can locate us in their system easier? We don't know but we wish others well in this endeavor. For us it was and is a walk-in experience and very well-organized.

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Despite what your doctor told you, people with comorbidities are not currently eligible to get the vaccine in Massachusetts. Age is the sole determinant in this step of Phase 2. I know a person under 75 who received an organ transplant within the past year, on immunosuppressive drugs, who has no idea when she will be eligible to get vaccinated.

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Supply is increasing - most clinics get deliveries on Monday. The number of planned clinics that may not yet have announced appointments is higher than it appears.

Stay tuned: over the next two weeks 65+ and 2 comorbidities is going to happen soon.

If a provider has vaccine left over at this point they may have been allowed to start the next phase. This is due to the restrictions on shipping sub-box units (<100 doses of Moderna, <975 doses of Pfizer) and the state not wanting to waste vaccine. If they had an open box left that can't be transferred, they may have gotten permission to use their discretion.

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My doctors office... including my infectious disease doc... which is a medium sized chain of doctors offices. I won't say the name, but they were an off shoot of a school and a insurance company a long time ago.

Anyways all their emails about the vaccine all are the same "Don't come here. Don't call. Don't ask. Seek the vaccine elsewhere". (okay maybe not as direct, but thats pretty much what they are saying)

And even for my HIV status, I am still would be considered Phase 3 or 4. Sad to say that my weight may get me the vaccine before an immunocompromised illness will. That says alot to me on how bad this is going...

Especially when my ID doc can't wait to stick me with different vaccines (as prevention) anytime I see him.

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Remember: this is a disease that kills you with your immune system.

We have enough victims already to know that specific conditions increase risk - immunocompromise outside of drugs taken with solid organ transplants is not one of them.

Priorities are based on 1: who is heavily exposed; 2. who is highly vulnerable; 3. who is likely to transmit to others.

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No I'm sorry.. That's not good enough

I have friends who are like me.. in Philadelphia, San Francisco, and even fucking West Virginia, who will be getting the shots with in the next 2 weeks.

Me.. APRIL.

No, this is a cluster fuck. You can spin this that way if you like, it just makes the case that we're doing this totally wrong. Other states have done this faster, and swifter.. yet we're still in phase 1.. weeks.. weeks. of this phase. We should be further along by now.

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than indoors, where you can get infected by sharing air with hundreds of other people.

(How messed up is it that so many of these mass vaccination sites are indoors?)

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It is February. In Massachusetts. You can't die from COVID if you die from hypothermia first, though you could die from COVID if you get infected in the hospital while being treated for hypothermia.

You CAN make indoor spaces reasonably safe. Masks and distancing work, add on as much increased non-recirculating ventilation as possible, reduce the amount of time any given person has to be inside as much as possible.

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and I see many people wearing them.

Yes, indoor spaces can be made more safe, but even changing the fresh air mix doesn't help all that much if you're downwind (in the HVAC-created air currents) from someone spewing virus-laden aerosols.

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See also: Bernie in parka and mittens.

What they really need to do is make sure that they do not get behind on appointments and warn people not to turn up early or try to drop in. No line, no freeze.

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But I've been able to find *zero* information on air handling changes at the mass vaccination sites, and frankly I have no reason to believe they've taken any particular care in that regard. If I were offered the vaccine today and didn't already have an N95, I might wait until warmer weather when they might start doing it outdoors. (Everyone has to make their own risk assessment, though.)

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I had covid and the flu in December. I got the covid at work and I think I got the flu getting my covid test (the timing works out for flu exposure).

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"Gov. Charlie Baker plans to see if these two private sites can help improve the state’s booking system."

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