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Baker-Polito Administration create advisory group to prepare to distribute vaccine

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BOSTON –The Baker-Polito Administration announced this week a COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group to advance its efforts to prepare to distribute a COVID-19 vaccine once it becomes available.

Comprised of medical professionals, public health experts, elected officials, community leaders and infectious disease specialists, the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group will advise the Administration, including the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the COVID-19 Command Center, on communication, distribution, and equity issues relating to a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Commonwealth has been working on preparedness and planning for a COVID-19 vaccine since early August. The state distributes approximately 3 million vaccine doses each year. The group will help inform the planning and preparedness work currently taking place and help with efforts to allocate, distribute and administer a COVID-19 vaccine.

Over the past decade, the Commonwealth has invested in a Massachusetts Immunization Information System, which serves as the state’s vaccine registry, ordering system and inventory mechanism. More than 3,000 provider sites currently report their data to this system, according to the Administration, and DPH is actively onboarding an additional 1,000 clinical sites to help in the distribution and tracking of a COVID-19 vaccine.

Working closely with DPH leaders, particularly DPH Medical Director Dr. Larry Madoff and DPH Assistant Commissioner Kevin Cranston, members of the COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Group include:

Dr. Paul Biddinger, Chair – Mass General Brigham

Dr. Barry Bloom – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Dr. Vincent Chiang – Boston Children’s Hospital

Michael Curry, Esq. – Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers

Dr. Robert Finberg – University of Massachusetts Medical School

State Senator Cindy Friedman – Chairperson of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing

Dr. Marc Lipsitch – Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

State Representative Ronald Mariano – House Majority Leader

Wanda McClain – Brigham and Women’s Hospital

Dr. Asif Merchant – Mass Medical Society

Mayor Daniel Rivera – City of Lawrence

Dr. John Rocchio – CVS Health

Dr. David Twitchell – Boston Medical Center

Rev. Liz Walker – Roxbury Presbyterian Church

Phoebe Walker – Franklin Regional Council of Governments

Dr. Simone Wildes – South Shore Hospital

Dr. Sharon Wright – Beth Israel Lahey Health

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