I am writing to provide you with a brief update regarding the COVID-19 vaccine. Acupuncturists fall at the end of the Phase 1 distribution of the vaccine. We are working to gather more information regarding the distribution of the vaccine to Acupuncturists (as non-COVID facing healthcare workers) who do not work in facilities in which the vaccine has been provided. At this point it seems likely that individuals will have to show proof of licensure to recieve vaccines at “additional vaccination administration sites.” The state has not released clear guidance as of yet.
We are working tirelessly with our lobbyist, Dan Delaney, to get clarity on this issue for our practitioners.
Please see the statement from Dan Delaney below to see what you can do to support these efforts.
Emilie Gerber-Kunicka, DAIH, MAc, LicAc
President of the Acupuncture Society of Massachusetts
**Please note: The ASM does not express an opinion on vaccination or not but simply wishes to provide the most updated information to our practitioners**
COVID Vaccination Update
Many of you have raised real and valid concerns regarding the access to the COVID vaccine. I’m Dan Delaney, lobbyist for ASM. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the ASM has worked consistently to communicate with state and local public health officials to ensure that acupuncturists are recognized as the licensed health care professionals that they are and seen as an essential part of Massachusetts’ health care system
One of the things that we’ve been focused on recently is ensuring acupuncturists’ access to the COVID-19 vaccines. Our understanding is that, as health care workers, acupuncturists should have access to the vaccine during Phase 1, either early as COVID facing practitioners or late as practitioners in non-COVID facing roles. https://www.mass.gov/info-details/when-can-i-get-the-covid-19-vaccine#phase-1-
We’ve reached out to Governor Baker’s staff overseeing the COVID response, the head of the Bureau of Infectious Diseases for the Department of Public Health and the Commissioner of Public Health. We’ve asked for explicit designation for acupuncturists as qualified health care workers and hope to have a response in the coming weeks.
If you would like to facilitate this effort, please consider reaching out to your state legislators (found here) and ask them to contact DPH Commissioner Bharel at 617-624-5200 to have the Department designate acupuncturists as essential health care workers to be vaccinated in Phase 1.