MASSACHUSETTS – Massachusetts expanded eligibility for booster vaccines on Thursday amid rising coronavirus cases across the state.
The rate of positive tests for the coronavirus exceeded three percent statewide on Thursday for the first time since February, according to the latest data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.
The state also reported more than 3,000 cases in a single day for the first time in nine months, and public schools reported 3,815 staff and student cases over the past week, the highest weekly total high never recorded.
In this context, the Baker administration opened booster doses to all adults, breaking with federal guidelines.
Previously, under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, eligibility for Pfizer and Moderna recalls was limited to people 65 years of age and older and younger adults who face increased risk of COVID-19 due to conditions underlying medical conditions or because they work or live in higher areas. high-risk environments and adults who have received Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine.
While federal regulators assess eligibility extensions, some states, including Maine and Vermont, have already opened up eligibility to their adult populations.
The Baker administration said it “encourages COVID-19 boosters for all fully vaccinated people 18 years of age and older.” Adults can receive a booster dose from any of the three manufacturers six months after their second dose of Moderna or Pfizer or two months after receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
As of Thursday’s vaccine report, 4,820,267 Massachusetts residents are fully vaccinated and 860,474 have received booster doses.
Two-thirds of Massachusetts communities have reported an increase in positive test rates in the past two weeks, according to city-by-city data released Thursday. Only 15 communities in Massachusetts have not reported any positive tests in the past two weeks, at the level of the last report.
The Department of Public Health reported 3,196 new cases of coronavirus, eight deaths and 48,672 doses of vaccine administered on Thursday.
The average number of hospitalized patients over seven days was 574.3, the same level as the previous week.
The average weekly number of cases was 1,665.4 daily cases, up from 1,646.6 last week earlier this month.
The average weekly rate of positive tests fell from 2.23% to 3.04%.
The lowest positive rate was 0.31% on June 25.
Only the death rate has not yet started to increase. There were 8.1 deaths per day on average over the past week, up from 11.7 the week before.
The latest vaccine report shows the number of fully vaccinated residents has risen to 4.82 million. Another 750,689 residents received a dose of the two-dose Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.
Booster doses were administered to 860,474 residents.
More than two-thirds of the state’s population, 70.6%, are fully immunized, but some communities are lagging behind, according to state data. Nine communities continue to report that less than half of their residents are even partially vaccinated, down two from the last report. Compare that with the over 90 percent of fully immunized residents in 12 towns and villages.
How to use this card: Zoom in on the map below and click on a pin to view the coronavirus vaccination rates for this community. You can also consult the city-by-city vaccination data against the coronavirus in the spreadsheet we used to create this map.
Colors reflect the percentage of the population fully vaccinated, from less than 50 percent in red to more than 70 percent in green. The state did not release vaccination figures for the two gray communities. Some communities are grouped together for immunization data purposes.
Note: For dozens of communities, up to 30 vaccinations may be missing from the data because the state does not report totals for demographic subgroups with less than 30 vaccines. No vaccination data is available for a community with a particularly small population: Gosnold.
The data also does not include 977 of the state’s cases, as state health officials were unable to determine which communities the patients lived in.
Other key measures of the coronavirus
Of 657 hospitalized patients, 132 patients were in intensive care on Wednesday, up one from the previous week.
The rate of positive tests in the past two weeks has fallen in 69 – or 19.7% – of the state’s 351 communities. The rate increased in 242 – or 69.0 percent – of the communities. It remained stable in the other 40.
Almost three-quarters of communities have reported positive test rates above 2% in the past two weeks, including 81 with testing rates above 5% – up 38 from last week. The highest rate, 25 percent, was reported by Buckland.
Statewide, there have been 23.0 average daily cases per 100,000 population in the past two weeks, up from 18.2 in last week’s report.
To date, there have been 826,996 cases and 18,834 deaths statewide since the start of the pandemic.
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The state reported 113,617 new tests on Friday, bringing the total administered to 32.6 million.
The data includes coronavirus cases for all communities in Massachusetts except those with a population of less than 50,000 and where there are fewer than five cases. The department said the stipulation was designed to protect the privacy of patients in those cities.
The state frees city-by-city test data every Thursday, including the number of people tested, test rate, positive test rate, cases, and infection rates.
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