BOSTON — Should residents in some of the Bay State’s hardest hit cities and towns be vaccinated first?
Some experts believe communities that have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic should be moved to the front of the line.
Massachusetts has pledged to set aside 20 percent of its vaccine supply for vulnerable cities and towns with high infection rates.
The timeline on when that will be happening and exactly which communities will be getting extra doses remains unclear.
“Strategies that target areas where the virus has hit really hard will protect everyone in a fairly effective way,” said Jessica Leibler, an environmental epidemiologist with Boston University.
Leibler said targeting communities at high risk would come in the second phase of the vaccine.
She points out that it could cause in could mean other people at risk may not get the vaccine as quickly as they would otherwise. However, she believes the strategy will help protect others who live in lower-risk communities.
“The virus doesn’t limit itself to those specific neighborhoods or cities,” said Leibler. “This could help identify communities where there’s a large percentage of workers who are in these essential jobs who have not been able to socially distance.”
The strategy could potentially apply in certain neighborhoods of Boston and also in communities like Lawrence, Chelsea, Brockton, Revere and Lynn.