Covid-19 Vaccine Distribution ~ Phases One, Two, and Three

December 31, 2020

Editor’s Note: The Town of Bedford shared guidance from the Baker-Polito Administration on the distribution of Covid-19 vaccines on Thursday, December 31, 2020 

The Baker-Polito Administration and the Department of Public Health developed a vaccine distribution timeline after extensive consultation with the Massachusetts Vaccine Advisory Group, made up of leaders from health care, the faith community, community organizations, local government, and others.

The timeline reflects several priorities: protecting our most vulnerable, maintaining health care system capacity, and addressing inequities in health care access and COVID-19 burden.

Vaccine distribution in MA will occur in a phased approach:

Phase 1 ~ December 2020 – February 2021 ~ Listed in order of priority:
  • Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care
    • Including: COVID-19 testers, staff of test sites, urgent care centers, other clinics, school nurses, and public health nurses performing COVID-19 testing; COVID-19 vaccinators and support staff for a COVID vaccination clinic including pharmacists, pharmacy interns, and pharmacy technicians, school nurses, and public health nurses supporting COVID-19 vaccination; Medical Reserve Corps who are called up to vaccinate or other COVID facing direct care work; COVID facing Hospice/palliative care professionals; COVID facing laboratorians; COVID facing imaging professions; emergent employees (manufacturing COVID vaccine)
  • Long term care facilities, rest homes and assisted living facilities
  • Emergency medical services, police, and fire
    • Including: all interfacility transport workers, MedFlight staff, college/university campus police
  • Congregate care settings
    • Including: corrections and shelters
  • Home-based health care workers
    • Including: PT/OT/SLP therapists who work with medically complex home students
  • Health care workers doing non-COVID-facing care
    • Including: Dentists/dental students (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients such as Oral Surgeons covering the ER, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Medical students (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Inpatient and outpatient physical therapists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspect patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Interpreters who work in hospitals (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Behavioral health clinicians not already covered in congregate care or direct care; Non- COVID facing Laboratorians; Blood donation workers; Organ donation procurement worker; Hospice/palliative care professionals; Non-COVID facing Imaging Professionals; Dialysis center workers and patients; Audiologists and speech and language pathologists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing); Podiatrists (unless routinely working with COVID-19 positive or suspected patients, in which case should be considered COVID-facing)
  • Individuals who do not come into contact with patients (e.g., back office, remote work, administrative staff who do not come into contact with patients, laboratory researchers who do not come into contact with patients) are not prioritized in Phase 1 and should be prioritized in Phase 2 or Phase 3 depending on each individual’s age, comorbidity status, or other worker category.

Phase 1 vaccination settings:

  • Most health care workers and first responders will be vaccinated at their place of employment
  • Individuals living and working in long term care will be vaccinated as part of the Federal Pharmacy Partnership Program
  • Vaccination for individuals in other congregate settings (e.g., group homes, shelters, corrections) will be coordinated by the management of those facilities
  • Many additional vaccination administration sites will be made available for other populations
Phase 2 ~ February-March 2021 ~ Listed in order of priority:
  • Individuals with 2+ co-morbid conditions (high risk for COVID-19 complications)
  • Other workers
    • Including: early education, K-12, transit, grocery, utility, food and agriculture, restaurant and cafe workers; employees across the food, beverages, agriculture, consumer goods, retail, and foodservice sectors; meatpackers; sanitation, public works and public health workers, vaccine development workers, food pantry workers, Uber/Lyft/ride share services/pharmacy delivery drivers (under transit/transportation workers), workers in the passenger ground transportation industry (e.g. paratransit for people with disabilities, food delivery, non-urgent medical transport; convenience store workers (under grocery workers); water and wastewater utility staff
  • Adults 65+
  • Individuals with one co-morbid condition
Phase 3 ~ Starting April 2021

The vaccine is expected to be available to the general public.

  • Including: Higher education workers, including administrators, teaching and non-teaching staff; Bottled beverage industry workers; Veterinarians; Funeral directors and funeral workers; 911 Dispatch employees

Phase 3 vaccination settings:

Once the vaccine is available to the general public, public vaccine clinics will be available on the CDC’s interactive website: You will also be able to check with your primary care provider, local pharmacy or local health department.


We are actively clarifying where each group resides on the state’s COVID-19 vaccination prioritization list.   Please submit any questions or concerns to [email protected] and we will periodically update this page with more information.

  • Please note that any information, records, documents or other material submitted to the above email address may constitute public records pursuant to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, G.L. c. 66 §10.  This includes any personal information you may disclose to the Department including medical information.

Timeframes are estimated.

This list will be updated Tuesdays and Thursdays by 5 pm in response to questions submitted via [email protected].


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