People age 75 and older will be able to get vaccines earlier than expected after the state increased the priority level, moving them to the top of phase 2, officials said.
The change means about 175,000 people in Massachusetts will get their shots sooner, officials said. It also brings the state’s three-phase vaccine distribution plan more closely into alignment with federal guidelines.
A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention panel voted last month to put people 75 and older and front-line essential workers next in line for COVID-19 vaccines.
The priority change for older adults will bump their priority level in Massachusetts to the top of the second phase, alongside people with two or more pre-existing conditions that put them at increased risk of serious complications. The state is currently working through phase 1 of its plan, with first responders next on the list to get jabbed.
As of Monday, roughly 287,000 doses of the vaccine had been distributed to hospitals and providers across Massachusetts, Baker said.
About 116,000 have been administered, according to state health data. But Baker said, “We expect the actual number is a little higher.”
There is a typically a four-day lag associated with vaccine administration data, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said.
State health officials also announced the state on Monday would launch a new interactive data dashboard that lays out coronavirus data, trends and numbers in a searchable, more digestible format.
“Users will be able to search data based on specific criteria, such as hospitalizations or case numbers, and can review specific time periods,” Gov. Charlie Baker said during his regular coronavirus briefing at the State House on Monday. “DPH will continue to build out this new platform.”
The new COVID-19 dashboard will provide much of the same data already provided in daily and weekly Department of Public Health reports. It will offer a breakdown of daily coronavirus cases, testing, hospitalizations and deaths as well as averages and trends, Baker administration officials said.
The new dashboard was set to go live on Monday, Gov. Charlie Baker administration officials said. Data will be updated daily by 5 p.m.
Weekly city and town data will be included in the interactive dashboard and will be updated every Thursday by 5 p.m., officials said.
The recently launched weekly vaccination report isn’t yet included in the interactive dashboard, but officials said they plan to eventually roll that data in too. They offered no specific timeline for doing so.