BOSTON (WHDH) - Massachusetts residents with compromised immune systems are growing increasingly frustrated as they eagerly await guidance on when they will be able to access the COVID-19 vaccine.
Sharon Simas, a cancer survivor living in Plymouth, is among the many people who are waiting on local officials to announce specifics on the next phase of the state’s vaccine rollout plan.
Simas says her nervous and immune systems are compromised after undergoing rounds of chemotherapy for stage 3 uterine cancer. These underlying health conditions have had her living in fear for months.
“The doctor said I have a higher chance of dying if I were to get COVID,” Simas told 7NEWS.
Simas is looking to get the vaccine, but in Massachusetts, the shots are rolling out in stages. As of right now, the vaccine is only available to those who fall under phase 1, such as health care workers and first responders.
Simas is not eligible to get vaccinated until phase 2, which is expected to begin at some point in February and last through March. She’s sought out exact timeline details on the state’s website and from health professionals but has been unable to get answers.
“They had absolutely no idea, so I’m a little confused how these professional are getting no information to tell people like me, and I imagine that I’m not alone,” Simas said.
Dr. David Rosman, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, understands the frustration that people are feeling.
“It’s understandable that people are anxious and looking forward to getting the vaccine,” Rosman said. “The frustration that we can’t have it is understandable as well.”
Rosman says health care workers are still waiting for direction due to the lack of efficiency in getting the vaccine out.
“We have had a deficiency in getting the vaccine from the federal government, getting enough doses out to the states, and getting enough resources to make sure that we can distribute as quickly as possible,” Rosman added.
A spokesperson for Gov. Charlie Baker’s office said the state’s website will update when Massachusetts enters the second phase of the rollout.
As Simas sits tight, she said she would like officials to be more transparent with their plans and preparations.
To find out what phase of the rollout you fall under, click here.
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