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Senator Rausch State House Briefing 

Part 2, Chapter 2 (February 10, 2021) 

 
Dear friends,  

I hope you are staying safe and well. I write with some important updates concerning COVID-19 vaccine eligibility and vaccination sites in our district: 

  1. Vaccinations Scheduling Call Center: The process of signing up for a vaccination appointment online is frustrating and unnecessarily challenging. My colleagues and I are advocating to change that, and we’ve gotten some positive changes already, like being able to search for appointments by zip code. We also advocated for a call center, and got that too. If you are 75+ or scheduling an appointment for an older adult and you are unable to do so online, call 2-1-1 or (877) 211-6277 for assistance. This service is available between 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Unfortunately, you should anticipate long wait times on the phone. 

  1. Mass Vaccination Site Coming to Natick: Exciting news for our district! A mass vaccination site is coming to the Natick Mall this month. The first vaccines will be given starting February 22nd, and at full capacity this site will administer up to 3,000 vaccinations daily. Appointments should open up next week. 

  1. Expanded Vaccine Eligibility: Effective Thursday, February 11, an individual who accompanies a person age 75 or older to a mass vaccination site will also be eligible to receive the vaccine, if they have an appointment booked together for the same day. Only one companion is permitted.  

While I am heartened to see certain expansions in vaccine access, I remain very concerned by a lack of racial, economic, and regional equity in COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Last week, I filed the COVID-19 Vaccine Equity Act, crafted in collaboration with infectious disease experts and legislative colleagues, to generate exactly that equity. Read more below about my efforts to make vaccine distribution more equitable within our Commonwealth. 
 
Questions and comments about the COVID vaccine distribution plan and implementation can be emailed directly to the Baker administration at COVID-19-Vaccine-Plan-MA@mass.gov. I welcome constituents to copy me on those emails as well. 
 
As always, if you or any of your loved ones in my district have fallen on hard times during this pandemic, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office via phone (617-722-1555) or email (becca.rausch@masenate.gov). We are here to help. You can also find robust resources to help you navigate through COVID-19 on my website.  

Yours in service,  


Senator Becca Rausch  

Equity in COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

To date, Black and Latinx residents of Massachusetts have received the COVID-19 vaccine at rates far lower than white Bay Staters despite the virus taking a disproportionate toll on these communities. And despite being a national health care leader, we currently rank in the bottom half of the nation in per-capita vaccinations. The rollout of vaccination and testing sites ignores whole swaths of our state (Attleboro still lacks a Stop the Spread testing site!). This is unacceptable. 

That's exactly why I partnered with Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz, Representative Liz Miranda, and Representative Mindy Domb to file An Act Effectuating Equity in COVID-19 Vaccination. This bill is one major step to ensure the Baker Administration makes vaccines available to all regardless of race, zip code, first language, transit access, or internet access. 

We must combat systemic injustice in health care delivery to strengthen local community health in every corner of our Commonwealth. We will get to the other side of COVID-19 faster if we center equity in this fight. 

Learn more about this bill on my website and check out coverage on our bill in the news: 

New Massachusetts bill would create mobile vaccination program, multilingual campaign to increase accessMasslive, Feb 4, 2021 

Rausch bill would mandate COVID-19 testing site in AttleboroThe Sun Chronicle, Feb 9, 2021 

4 proposals to improve the Massachusetts vaccine rolloutBoston.com, Feb 8, 2021 

Lawmakers frustrated by Massachusetts vaccine rollout push for equity director in new billBoston Herald, Feb 4, 2021 

Meet Gwen! 

 
 
I am proud to welcome Gwen Mecsas to my team as my office's new legislative aide! Raised in Needham, Gwen first joined Team Rausch as intern serving our district amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, she also worked in Senator John F. Keenan’s Office and at the Massachusetts Voter Table. In May of 2021, Gwen will graduate from Tufts University with a degree in International Relations. As legislative aide, Gwen manages my calendar and supports my whole team with legislative and policy research, communications, and constituent services. If you would like to invite me to an event in the district or introduce yourself to our newest addition to the #BeccaBunch, you can email Gwen at Gwendolyn.Mecsas@masenate.gov.  

My previous legislative aide, Evan Berry, is still a part of the team -- just now serving as my communications director! 

 Office Hours 

 

Sign up for a 15-minute appointment here.    

Residents from any part of the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex District are welcome to share their questions and opinions on state issues with me and my team via video chat or phone call. Office hours are available to discuss any matter. 
  
Additional office hours will be held on the following dates: 

Friday, February 26, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Friday, March 5, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.
Friday, March 19, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Our mailing address is:
The Office of Senator Becca Rausch
Massachusetts State House, Room 218
24 Beacon Street, Boston, MA 02133

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Senator Rausch · State House, Room 218 · 24 Beacon Street · Boston, MA 02133-1099 · USA

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