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Thanks, Charlie: Black market in 75+ seniors springs up for Covid-19 shots

People advertising for seniors for Covid-19 shots

Search on "Covid vaccine" on Boston Craigslist at 2:20 p.m.

Really? Really.

About that top ad:

$200 for a senior who needs a shot
Free tagging: 

Ad:

Comments

Didn't we just have a whole thread of reality deniers on this?

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Elderly are getting shots and the number of vaccinated people in the Commonwealth goes up.

I'm not seeing a problem.

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Problem?

How about exposing vulnerable seniors to people - strangers to them, sharing a car ride, etc... - who might not have their best interest foremost in their minds and might (just might) be doing it to jump the line (taking a dose from someone at greater risk/need) not because they believe in it but to take care of a work or travel checkbox?

How about that as a state, we don't have anything better organized that would bring vacc to these at-risk seniors at home in the first place?

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How about that as a state, we don't have anything better organized that would bring vacc to these at-risk seniors at home in the first place?

You are welcome to try.

Just so you know - one huge reason this isn't happening is that vaccines spoil if they aren't properly transported.

A better idea would be to transport people - but that also involves stranger contact.

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Vaccines also spoil if the powers-that-be make a hash of matching the supply to the demand.

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People who live in group homes already are getting on-site vaccination.

People who are 75+ who live alone but drive themselves aren't waiting for a younger person to offer them a lift.

I'm sure there's a small percentage of elderly who feel forced into going when they don't want to. That's elder abuse. But if a vast majority of people who take advantage of this program are friends and family of the elderly, it's still worth doing.

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Eldery? Isn't that the search for the ultimate wand? Didn't do Voldemort much good, as I recall.
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As for the elderly, I think a great deal of them, actually - especially since my Mom and one of my surviving aunts number among them (and because of the alarming number of over-80s in my family circle we've lost the last 11 months (even when only one case was confirmed COVID).
Those who are the most vulnerable among us, who have been told and told and told the last 11 months to minimize exposure to anybody not strictly necessary, should not have to engage in increased-risk behavior to get the vaccine now that it is available.
Yes, those in group homes should be getting it on-site.
Yes, those living at-home who have been getting out can go get it themselves (as long as there's not stupid long lines, crowding or waiting outside in the cold)
However, there is no reason that any senior should have to take on the risk factor of traveling with a stranger (if they haven't already been doing so with rideshare or taxi for appointments). VNA should be bringing this to the homes - they're coming for a lot of these people anyway.

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I see your point, but I would also imagine that the people jumping to do this are more Covid-cautious than the general population, so in aggregate it may not be too risky for the older folks involved.

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Just have the 65+ people take the 75+ people. My parents are 70 and they're very patiently waiting.

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She has issued a statement calling on the Governor to either rescind the policy or to limit eligible companions to those 65 and older. Her statement can be found on her twitter page:

https://twitter.com/andreaforboston/status/1359950253374328832/photo/1

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Why would it matter if a 40 year-old takes their mother and gets a shot at the same time?

People need to understand everyone is helped when one person gets the vaccine. The quicker the entire population gets their shot, the fewer people will die and quicker we can go back to normal.

There is no such thing as a wasted shot.

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Would the 40 year old NOT be taking their mother otherwise? Would they say "oh well if I can't get a shot at the same time, screw you Mom!"?

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And the 40 year old saying "see ma? I'm getting mine!" might be what they need to see to just get it done.

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Actually, if a person under the age of 75+ takes a senior of 75 years or older to get their Covid-19 vaccine, the under 75 plus driver is also eligible to get the vaccine. That, to me, is more than fair. My brother will be driving my mom who's in her 90's to get her Covid-19 vaccine, and my brother will also get the vaccine.

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Campbell’s statement makes good sense. But will Baker listen?

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My cousin still works and lives with is mother, who qualifies and has health issues, including being in a wheelchair. She's better protected if both of them get the vaccine (since he can't isolate at home with his job). He's not 65+ and at least knows her and has her best interest at heart - if you're worried about the elderly being scammed, who says they'll get a ride home after the companion get their shot?

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Lots of 40-50 year olds taking care of a parent or in-law-taking them to doctor appointments, grocery shopping for them. Would be much safer if they were also protected.

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Caregivers for the vulnerable - that makes sense to bump them up some from whatever priority level their own health/age would dictate.
The problem is people trying to buy their way up the line, introducing added risk factors to the vulnerable and possibly diverting/delaying access to these resources for the vulnerable.

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A dozen craigslist posts isn't an indication of mass sale of injections to people otherwise unaffiliated with the elderly.

People are also selling stolen car parts and drugs on Craigslist but it's not an indication that Autozone and CVS have failed.

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A younger person taking care of a Senior citizen and taking the Senior citizen to get the Covid-19 vaccine is also eligible to get the shot.

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We are not trying to help the sneakiest.

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And every scammer who gets an appointment and a vaccine means that appointment and vaccine will not be going to an elderly person.

If there are a limited number of appointments and vaccines and if every elderly person brings a plus one then, unless my math is off, doesn’t that mean only half the number of slots are now available to the elderly?

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And every scammer who gets an appointment and a vaccine means that appointment and vaccine will not be going to an elderly person.

But you are assuming that this is a zero sum game. They were having trouble filling appointments at the giant centers because people couldn't get there OR because seniors were waiting until they could go together with their spouses/significant others.

In some cases, this means that someone who can navigate the computer process and lives with an elder now has motivation to just do everything to get it done.

I doubt that the craigslist stuff will get much attention other than OMG PANIC! because how many elders do you know think craigslist is safe in the first place?

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are informing patients that vaccines originally designated for elders have been reduced. Clearly they are being reallocated to mass vaccination sites to accommodate “companions”.

“ "The state informed us that, due to supply constraints, it will be greatly reducing the supply of vaccines to hospitals and health systems for at least the next few weeks in order to consolidate vaccine doses for use at state-run vaccination clinics," hospital officials wrote.”

https://www.wcvb.com/article/hospitals-inform-patients-massachusetts-is-...

“Dr. Thomas Sequist, chief patient experience and equity officer for Mass General Brigham, the largest health network in Massachusetts, said the reduction will force the network to scale back its vaccination effort, including programs in hard-hit communities such as Chelsea, Revere, and Lynn.“

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/12/nation/state-curtail-vaccine-dist...

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Massachusetts is unable to fully distribute what it _has now_ . How can there be complaints about "supply constraints"?

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I'm actually involved in this right now. I'm curious about how much you actually understand about vaccine handling, storage, and shipment.

Sites that don't use their vaccine have it sent to other places because there isn't enough. Some of the large hospital facilities offering it up to patients not in the current lineup are using up leftover Pfizer, which can't be redistributed unless its a full box of 975 doses.

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Just keep trying to make a big negative fantasy out of heresay.

The main reason vaccine ends up at Gillette and other mass vaccination sites: large boxes of Pfizer that nobody but hospitals and the big facilities can handle due to storage conditions, and because they are absolutely using it.

Go to Mass.gov. Read the "for providers" section. Stop making stuff up to fill the voids in your understanding. Providers like MGH know that they are only supposed to order what they will use in 10 days and they need to have plans in place to use it. They keep overordering, and not using it. So much for "its preventing us from doing stuff" when they aren't using it, just hoarding it.

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“ Sequist said that at Mass General Brigham facilities, “We never had an issue with having doses that were going unused and that weren’t allocated.”
“We had a very high utilization rate of all of our vaccine supply,” he said.”

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/12/nation/state-curtail-vaccine-distribution-hospitals/

Your arguments just get weaker and weaker.

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I'm in the middle of this and I have superpowers to take a virtual look into freezers. It isn't a matter of arguments. I'm not reading highly spun PR reprinted by the local newspaper. I'm neck deep. It is a matter of knowing the truth versus what the Globe is smoking.

The hospitals were stockpiling vaccine owned by the state, so the state transferred it to where it will be used. Their stash was far in excess of their plans to use it someday in Chelsea maybe ... for the poors you know!

You can put out all Globe WAHHHHHHH! OMG THEY TOOK OUR TOYS! articles that you want. The hospital spokesfaces are spokesfracking the public - and you are lapping it up for whatever reason you find it tasty. That doesn't make it true. They got to keep open boxes and anything they would use in the next two weeks. The rest was being stockpiled and that isn't allowed.

And they know it.

User agreements clearly state: use it in 10 days or MA will find someone who will. Period. That's what is happening here. That's why the delivery freeze, too.

Read this: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/massachusetts-covid-19-vaccine-program...

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.... what multiple sources are reporting along with a growing number of law makers, activists and public health experts.

As opposed to what some anonymous poster with a silly name and who claims to have super powers rants about in a message section.

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If you don't like the poster, read the state website.

I did. It makes sense.

You want to believe something so you don't bother to understand it.

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This is what gets me. I don't think my 80 year old grandparents know what craigslist even IS, let alone browse it for offers for rides. ultimately this policy will, AT WORST, mean a few younger people will be giving rides to their elderly neighbors that they may have not made time for originally. big deal.

the majority of beneficiaries here are 72 year old spouses, 50-60 year old children/caretakers, etc. people with preexisting relationships with elders are the only ones who are going to be able to make this work, and those are the people who probably SHOULD be vaccinated, to keep those same elders safer.

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You mean a person who's trying to get a life saving vaccine? There's no resale value for this.

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any system can be exploited. besides, a screenshot of a bunch of craigslist ads doesn’t necessarily suggest nefarious activity.

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Fortunately it's not COVID, just laughing too hard.

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Pay a senior get a shot of love potion number 9. These are the descendants of the scoundrels on the Titanic who stole the seats on the lifeboats from women and children.

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Not getting a shot now isn't the same as condemning someone to death.

A younger person who has been vaccinated is less likely to spread the virus and thus, their own vaccination can still save lives.

A vaccine in someone's arm is not wasted, no matter who they are. The only way to waste a vaccine is to let it sit on the shelf.

The time between when vaccine delivery being made and the time it's in someone's arm should be measured in hours.

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From all that I've read, we don't know if vaccination prevents the spread of Covid. We know it drops the chances of dying from Covid more than 99%, and it reduces disease severity.

We don't know how it affects transmission.

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The data from Israel and UK so far shows a clear linkage between vaccination and number of new cases. True, it could be from other reasons but the early indications is that transmission is reduced too.

One source (NY Times)

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Seniors, generally the most ignored demographic, have suddenly become a whole lot more popular. Not that being ignored doesn't have it's benefits. I notice that ever since I reached a certain age (and I guess I must look it) those professional fundraiser pests never approach me on the street anymore. They look right through me to the next person.

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All of a sudden people are willing to be oh so nice and drive a 75+ to get a vaccine. I assume all of those people were willing to do that nice thing last week when it didn't come with it's own jab?? Ha.

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What are the chances they are going to be looking at Craig's List looking to hitch a ride?

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As far as groups that get scammed, seniors unfortunately rank up there. That said, they are also the group least likely to use craigslist.

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And if someone is going to try to scam seniors out of something of their own through this A:) they are horrible people, B.) Probably are breaking some laws and C.) Probably harm seniors already.

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Someone's out-of-state adult child use one of these CL ads to find someone who can take their parent to the clinic because in doing so they can vet the person and find someone they trust more than calling an Uber and hoping for the best.

A Lyft driver isn't going to stay with the person for an hour or two but a CL find might be happy to stay on facetime continuously if they can get a shot too.

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I'm just about to post this on Craigslist Boston.

Unvaccinated 75 y/o looking for ride on February 18 to Fenway Park vaccination center. As my driver/companion you will be eligible to sign up for a COVID-19 vaccine shot.

Please email me at the address below with your contact details. I will require a substantial donation to cover my expenses - please indicate in your reply how much you are willing to contribute.

I will choose the most meritorious application and get back to you. I will need evidence of a clean background check (at your expense) and your bank account information so that I can initiate the donation.

Replies to [email protected]

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Ah Charlie Baker, yesterday he was a hero for this, today he's a goat.

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But I think "goat" at this point has shifted from "choke artist/loser" to "champion."

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"A goat" still means what it always has. Charlie Baker is a goat.

"The GOAT" also signifies Greatest Of All Time, not just a generic champion. Often not capitalized despite the origin. Tom Brady is the GOAT quarterback.

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You're confusing a noun with an acronym.

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I think it's safe to say at this point that the myth that our governor was this brilliant healthcare manager type was blown way out of proportion even for a politician who desperately needed a backstory other than serving a brief stint in the private sector when he wasn't busy messing with public finances when serving as secretary of this and that.

To know that the day would come when vaccines would be available and meted out to the most age-vulnerable first as part of a nationwide plan and only have a half-baked plan that touted two sports venues of limited accessibility coupled with the failure of his mass communications strategy is downright criminal.

From the massive outbreak and deaths at the Holyoke Soldier's Home to the Craigslist scammers, the nation's favorite governor has proved that he's just a well-connected guy who found himself way out of his league when it came to crisis management at absolutely tone-death when it came to providing solutions to rectify the situation, knee-jerk reactions aside.

When faced with the opportunity of a lifetime, Charlie Baker turned turtle and only did the bare minimum when the noise became too much to bear inside his shell.

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... particularly well? He occasionally gets something right, but generally seems to do a mediocre (or worse) job.

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Comparing him too. What governor in your eyes is doing a better job.

I think Baker has done a decent job!

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Baker is really turning out to be the textbook case of White male privilege. It's embarrassing.

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What did we call the way these inept politicians like Baker operated before we had the "White male privilege catchphrase?

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This just shows how isolated and desperate the elderly are to get shots - there should be buses picking people up to take them to get their shots, there should be panels of people helping them schedule appts. I just helped my Mom get her shots in NYS. Her calling her Dr led to nowhere. I got her a spot at a super site (45 min away) on 1/12 but the earliest date for her then was for 3/25 (the day before it was 2/26 so she was lucky to get that). I had to go to each pharmacy and sign up for email notices for when they received doses and by fluke was able to get her an appt for 2/3 (not from a notice either but just having the link and stalking). Appts are issued by this pharmacy in blocks of 3 days, appts every 20 minutes for 12 hrs - each time they post, all 84 appts (times however many outlets they have) disappear in about 15 minutes. If I wasn't helping her (from MA), she'd still be waiting to hear from her Dr.

The order of giving the shots are based on limiting the spread - if we can't get those people vaccinated, we aren't limiting the spread. I'm now trying to help my cousin get her elderly wheelchair bound mother on a list but going to supersite isn't good for her health (esp lining up outside) and none of the local pharmacies have any available dates. She's .25 mi from a senior center that supposedly a vaccination site but they have no doses to give so no appts. At least she has 2 computer savvy people helping her and willing to drive her to whatever appt we can scrounge up.

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there should be panels of people helping them schedule appts

There are. Call 211. Panels of people are being reassigned from other jobs to contend with this demand.https://www.nbcboston.com/news/coronavirus/how-the-call-back-list-works-...

Also, the pharmacy program is Federal - completely beyond the state program. That is why things are so scattered.

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I don’t think anyone outside of 25-55 know what Craigslist is, let alone use it. To be honest most of the 50 plus users were looking for dates witty young people and that was 15 years ago.

If someone is technically savvy to use Craigslist at 75, they probably can use Uber or call a taxi for their ride.

FWIW Thus will help spread the vaccinations out and may help with the minority communities getting higher vaccinations.

The only downside - we can’t get a pretzel or a Fenway frank while we wait.

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Despite the obvious problems of abuse I still think the policy is a good one. Many elderly people have been isolated this past 12 months. Having a loved one that has been assisting them able to get a vaccine and reduce that risk to the elderly person is IMO well worth the risk.

My VERY elderly grandmother lives alone and has had pretty dramatically reduced contact with family, even those who have been primarily helping her since she is no longer able to safely ride the bus etc to grocery shop. She has gotten shot 1 however none of the family has. So there is no vaccinated person available to visit etc.

If this program was available on day 1 one of my aunts would have been able to vaccinate and much more confidently spend time in her home.

Yes, there will be abuse, but getting shots into arms still needs to be the #1 priority.

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This whole episode reminds me of getting someone old enough to buy liquor for 'underage' customers.

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When I saw someone on Twitter volunteering to assist the elderly to a vaccination site, I joked that I am renting the elderly at a nursing home next door. I said she just had to search for "elderly escorts" on Craigslist.

A Fox25 reporter asked if I'd comment for a story.

I was like "uh, it was a joke"....

IT WAS A JOKE, PEOPLE. NOT A BLUEPRINT!

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Nursing homes have had in-facility vaccination during the last phase.

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... are experiencing from the vaccine, is it wise for a caretaker to get the vaccine at the same time as the the person they care for? If both start having fevers, chills, etc at the same time, then the caretaker may be unable to care for the elderly person at a time when the elderly person is in even more need of care.

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None of this would be a problem if the Massachusetts vaccination program wasn’t a total disaster.

The problem isn’t our allocation of vaccines from the Feds. It’s that we don’t have a functional system for giving the vaccines. The percentage of our allocation that’s been used is shamefully low.

Neighboring states have lowered the age to 65. We’re still at 75, and we can’t handle the demand.

Seniors shouldn’t have to travel miles to a giant place like Fenway Park where they need help to navigate. And they shouldn’t have to register on dozens of websites to see where there’s an appointment. They should be able to get the vaccine at their neighborhood doctor’s office.

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Does this get more people vaccinated faster? If so, it's a good thing.

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It’s not getting more people vaccinated faster. It’s redistributing the vaccine to the same number of people. Only now less of those people will be the low income and minority over 75 who previously may have been able to get the vaccine nearby at their local hospital or community health center but now find a way to get to faraway mass vaccination sites not served by public transportation and run by for profit corporations. This is the segment of the population most at risk for death from Covid and living in places they are most likely to be exposed to it.
This new flip flop on Baker’s part benefits younger middle and high income people who are less likely to suffer from Covid. It creates opportunities for elder abuse.
That’s why it’s not a good thing.

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If a young or middle-aged person pays a senior to travel together to a vaccination site, I don't see how that is "elder abuse".

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... less at risk people with the monetary means can buy a vaccine that would otherwise be allocated to people in the high risk 75 or older group?

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The corollary to this is that the elderly person is actually the bad guy selling access to the vaccine.

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Massachusetts is has only been distributing about 2/3 of the vaccine that we get, and there are other states that are doing better. The whole point of this policy by expanding eligibility we can increase the number of people who can get the vaccine before it expires.

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These Craiglist ads are clickbait-worthy but I'm pretty sure 99.99% of the actual companions will be familial caregivers. Lots of seniors have adult children or grandchildren that aid them, especially now to limit the seniors' exposure to the public. This policy makes sense to innoculate both the seniors and their most direct contacts. The issue is not with this logical policy, but that Baker has slow rolled so much of this. We are way behind other states who have been vaccinating people over 65 and teachers for weeks! We should be making it easier to get vaccinated right now for as many people as possible

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“The Baker administration’s decision to let elderly people and their companions be vaccinated at the same time undermines the goal of equitably protecting state residents and will benefit healthy, white, and wealthier communities at the expense of people of color and the those with major health risks, a group of lawmakers contend.“

https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/02/12/metro/lawmakers-urge-gov-baker-ab...

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That’s a very biased opinion piece, not a factual report. I hope you do.

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They weren't running all the clinics that they claimed that they would, and kept ordering vaccine.

That is being fixed, so they are whining.

Remember folks: this isn't their vaccine anyway - it is ours. The state owns all the vaccine.

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