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Registration for COVID-19 Vaccine Could Start in February

The public still can’t register for county-sponsored COVID-19 vaccination clinics on Cape Cod, but that could change in the next few weeks for individuals who meet the state's priority guidelines.

Barnstable County health director Sean O’Brien said the county will probably make the online scheduling system used for first responders more widely available, likely in Phase 2, which begins in February.

“We found it to be a pretty good program,” he said. “It's pretty easy to use.”

Supplied by the state Department of Public Health, the system offers time slots based on clinic capacity.

O’Brien said people for whom the Internet is a barrier will probably have the option to call the Barnstable County COVID-19 hotline for an appointment, but that service has not yet started.

 

Registration will be available to people who are eligible for the vaccine according to the state's phased timeline, which has not changed.

COVID-19 vaccination in congregate living will continue next week as the state makes its way through priority groups in Phase 1.

Fred Chirigotis, CEO of Chip’s House, a residence in Centerville for people disabled by head injury, said his residents and staff will start getting the vaccine on Wednesday.

“Many of them are wheelchair bound and quite vulnerable to illness,” he said. “The typical flu season is pretty bad for us.” 

Chip’s House started working with the Barnstable Board of Health and the state in November to get on the list for congregate-care vaccination.

Chirigotis said that to date, Chip’s House has not had an outbreak of COVID-19.

Phase 1 is set to conclude by the end of February with two groups: home healthcare workers and healthcare workers who don’t handle COVID patients. Local officials said those groups will likely get the vaccine through their employers.

 

Phase 2 is scheduled to begin sometime in February, starting with people who have two or more health conditions that put them at risk of complications; people age 75 and older; and residents and staff of low-income and affordable senior housing.