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Vaccine FAQ: Common Questions and the Latest Answers for the Cape, Coast, and Islands

As the COVID-19 vaccine rolls out, people have a lot of questions about who is eligible, and when and how to sign up.

CAI’s Kathryn Eident talked with reporter Jennette Barnes about the details.

KE: State Senator Julian Cyr of Truro says he and other officials have been getting a lot of questions from the public about who can get the vaccine and how. He answered some of those questions in a press call yesterday. CAI reporter Jennette Barnes was on the call. What are some of the top questions people are asking?

JB: One thing they're asking is, “Is there some kind of list to get on in order to find out when they'll be vaccinated?” And the answer to that is really no. Phase 1 of the vaccination plan is for very specific groups, and people who are eligible for that have already been notified — so that’s first responders and others. Callers are also asking, he says, if they'll have to go through their primary care provider to get the OK for the vaccine. Cyr said the state hasn't announced a decision about that yet, but it's unlikely that primary care providers will be giving doses to the general public until we get to Phase 3 or near Phase 3, which is in April.

KE: Right. And of course, we have a ways to go before that date. And Senator Cyr said some people have called him — they'd like to move to the head of the line. Can they do that?

JB: He is getting those calls. No, the answer is no. He says, you know, the COVID-19 Response Task Force is full of members of the legislative delegation who are getting those calls, but no, they can’t do that.

KE: Yeah, of course. Some people who don't normally spend the winter on the Cape have decided to stay. Will they be eligible for the vaccine if their primary residence is not Cape Cod?

JB: So far, the answer to that is yes. So Cyr says that the task force has asked the state, but unless they get told otherwise, the task force and the county do intend to vaccinate these so-called “stranded snowbirds,” as he's calling them, yes.

KE: OK. And I understand that Cyr reminded folks that — he's on this task force, we hear a lot from him as a spokesperson, but it's not like this task force has any real say in how the vaccination plan will be rolling out, right? It's being run by Governor Charlie Baker's administration.

JB: Yes, yes. They are following the guidance, which they really have no choice about. And so, when he gets questions about specific dates for, you know, when is it going to open up to this group or that group, he really doesn't want to give those dates and then have to push the dates back if something changes at the state level.

KE: Right. So I guess there are a lot of questions, but maybe the answer right now for us is patience.

JB: Yes.

KE: And that is CAI reporter Jennette Barnes. Jennette, thanks so much for taking a look at some of the questions that state Senator Julian Cyr and other members of the task force have been fielding over the past few weeks. We appreciate it.

JB: Thanks, Kathryn.

This transcript was lightly edited for grammar and clarity.