COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Cape Codders and Islanders

We intend for this page to serve as a resource for Cape Codders and Islanders looking to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. We are aiming to be transparent and share as much information as has been provided to us, with the understanding that decisions around vaccine supply and inventory are made by the federal government and the Baker-Polito Administration. Our goal is to relieve anxiety and instill confidence and hope among residents that they will receive the vaccines as soon as possible.

Booking a Vaccine Appointment

The information below pertains mostly to Cape Codders. If you are an Islander, scroll further down to "Vaccination Locations on the Islands".

Instructions for Online Booking

Before scheduling an appointment, check to see if you are eligible via this link. If you are, proceed to vaxfinder.mass.gov. The image below  shows what you'll see when you log in.

Enter your ZIP code in the field marked by the red circle in the image. In the case of our example, we've used the ZIP code for Hyannis. 

If you are comfortable driving anywhere, check the box listed under "Filter Results", just like we have in the above example. This will only show you sites that have known available appointments. Select the site that you'd like to travel to, follow the prompts, and schedule your appointment. At this point, you should be all set until the day of your appointment arrives.

If you are not comfortable driving anywhere, the Baker-Polito administration process is unfortunately more difficult. Leave the box under "Filter Results" unchecked.

This will show you a list of the sites closest to your ZIP code, regardless of whether vaccine is available or not. The results will look like the picture below. 

 

For the example in the above image, we used 02601 as the ZIP code.

The results will show a list of sites closest to the ZIP code you enter, but it will list the closest state-run mass vaccination site (MassVax) first. As you can see, the closest MassVax site to Cape Cod is in Dartmouth (we're currently attempting to pressure the Governor to change this). In our example search, it is currently at capacity, as indicated by the green circle, but there may be more available when you log into the site to schedule your appointment.

Other nearby sites are shown after the closest MassVax site. As you can see by our example, the closest site to the Hyannis ZIP code we entered is the Hyannis Stop and Shop. Under the column marked "Availability", you'll see that it lists a question mark and the phrase "See Details", marked by the black circle

You will need to select "DETAILS" next to each site that you are interested in and follow the prompts to see whether vaccine is available or not (in the interest of keeping the instructions as clear as possible, we've decided to remove the context and explain why at the bottom of the page, if you're interested). Checking each site can get very tedious, very quickly. If you find a site with vaccine, you'll have to follow the prompts to schedule your appointment.


Instructions for Booking by Phone

If you do not have access to the internet, the Baker-Polito administration does have an option for residents to book via phone

To begin, dial 2-1-1. Representatives are available to assist in both English and Spanish, and translators will be available to support residents in approximately 100 additional languages.

You can also dial toll free at (877) 211-6277. 2-1-1 is not available in some areas.

For those hard of hearing, you can access TTY at 508-370-4890.

Individuals ages 65 and older will be able to speak to a representative live on the phone to assist them with an appointment through the state’s online system. These representatives have the same access to appointments as on the public website; it will not give individuals access to additional appointments. If no appointments are available, callers will have the option to be placed on a call back list for the mass vaccination sites. The caller will receive a call back when an appointment becomes available for them at a mass vaccination site, and the list will be called on a first-come, first-served basis. 

The line will be staffed from Monday to Friday, 8:30AM to 5PM. 


Public Vaccination Sites on Cape Cod 

There is no mass vaccination (MassVax) site on Cape Cod. Barnstable County receives an allotment of vaccines based on the total population each week. When doses arrive in the region, these sites open for appointments and close when supply is exhausted. When the vaccines arrive, the County operates clinics in select locations.  These sites are staffed by the Barnstable County Government for Cape Codders. All appointments must be booked in advance; walk-in service is not offered.

The Commonwealth tracks public clinics using a website called maimmunizations.org to allow residents to search for the availability of doses. However, these clinics will only appear online if unclaimed doses are available. Barnstable County has set up a system that can notify Cape Codders when appointment times are available. To schedule a vaccine at one of the public sites, follow these instructions: 

  1. Visit BarnstableCountyHealth.org
  2. When you arrive, you'll see the pop-up below appear on your screen. Enter your email. 
  3. When vaccine arrives, the county will alert all subscribers 24 hours in advance of when the appointments appear online. The email will tell subscribers which site has the vaccine doses, how many the County has to distribute, the day the clinic will run, and the hours of the clinic.
  4. As soon as the vaccine appointments are open, log on to maimmunizations.org
  5. Select "Phase 1 and 2 Clinics".
  6. In the "Search by Name of Site Location" bar, enter the name of the site where vaccine doses are available. This information is in the email you received in Step 3. See below:
  7. Click "Search" and follow the prompts to schedule your appointment.

Additional Vaccination Sites on Cape Cod 

Most of these sites are managed by private companies, with the exception of the Orleans Department of Public Works site, which only offers vaccinations to first responders and not the general public. Additional information on how to schedule appointments at these sites is available below. 

Orleans – Stop & Shop (Route 3 6A Cranberry Cove Plaza)

  • Serves eligible populations within a 30-mile radius
  • Requests a driver's license and insurance card 
  • Click here to check availability of appointments 

Orleans – Department of Public Works (40 Giddiah Hill Rd) 

  • Serves only Phase 1 eligible populations (health care workers and first responders) 
  • Will serve Phase 2 eligible populations upon receiving an adequate supply of vaccine
  • More information on booking for Phase 1 eligibles on BarnstableCountyHealth.org 

Harwich – Stop & Shop (111 Brewster-Chatham Rd.)

  • Serves eligible populations within a 30-mile radius 
  • Requests a driver's license and insurance card 
  • Click here to check availability of appointments 

South Yarmouth – CVS (465 Station Avenue.) 

  • Click here to book vaccine appointment online when vaccines are available at this site (online booking only) 
  • Serves only Phase 1 eligible populations (health care workers and first responders) 
  • Will serve Phase 2 eligible populations upon receiving an adequate supply of vaccine 
  • CVS working on a centralized hotline to schedule an appointment if you do not have internet access, but it is not yet available 

Hyannis – Stop & Shop (425 Attucks Lane) 

  • Serves eligible populations within a 30-mile radius 
  • Requests a driver's license and insurance card 
  • Click here to check availability of appointments 

Mashpee – Walgreens (21 South St.) 

  • Book vaccine appointment online here when vaccines are available at this site 
  • Serves eligible populations statewide 
  • You will need to create a Walgreens.com account to proceed with the booking process:  
    • From this page, select "Get Started" at the bottom of the page 
    • Select the blue "Create a new account" button at the bottom of the page

Vaccination Locations on the Islands

Vaccination on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard is currently under the direction of Nantucket Cottage Hospital and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. All Phase 1 and Phase 2 cohorts are eligible to register via Patient Gateway, which is a software portal that each facility uses. After you register, the hospitals will contact you to schedule your appointment.  

Information on how to use Patient Gateway, how to schedule an appointment, or confirm your eligibility is available on the COVID-19 vaccination pages at Nantucket Cottage Hospital and Martha’s Vineyard Hospital  


Barnstable County Vaccine Helpline

If you are in Barnstable County, the Barnstable County Department of Health and the Environment has set up a hotline number that residents can call with questions about vaccine availability or booking: (774) 330-3001.


Nearby Off-Cape Vaccination Locations

There are other vaccination locations outside of the district but in the region. Below is additional public information about these sites. These sites may not have vaccination appointments available depending on demand and vaccine availability. 

Kingston – SkinEsteem Med Spa (431 Country Club Way) 

  • Serves eligible populations statewide 
  • Appointments at this site are currently full; check here for updates on availability. 

Kingston – Big Y (182 Summer Street) 

  • Serves eligible populations statewide 
  • Bring state identification or drivers' license and your insurance card, if you have one 
  • Check here for availability and booking procedures 

Hanover – CVS (207 Rockland Street) 

  • Click here to book vaccine appointment online when vaccines are available at this site (online booking only) 
  • Serves only Phase 1 eligible populations (health care workers and first responders) 
  • Will serve Phase 2 eligible populations upon receiving an adequate supply of vaccine 
  • CVS working on a centralized hotline to schedule an appointment if you do not have internet access, but it is not yet available 

Halifax – Stop & Shop (341 Plymouth Road) 

  • Serves eligible populations within a 30-mile radius 
  • Requests a driver's license and insurance card 
  • Click here to check availability of appointments 

Middleborough – Hannaford (8 Merchants Way) 

  • Please bring your state issued ID and insurance card to your appointment. 
  • Click here to check availability of appointments  

Fairhaven – Walgreens (220 Huttleston Ave) 

  • Book vaccine appointment online here when vaccines are available at this site 
  • Serves eligible populations statewide 
  • You will need to create a Walgreens.com account to proceed with the booking process:  
    • From this page, select "Get Started" at the bottom of the page 
    • Select the blue "Create a new account" button at the bottom of the page

Resources

On February 3, 2021, the Cape Cod COVID-19 Response Task Force hosted a telephone briefing to residents of Barnstable County, where we discussed all available information pertaining to vaccines at that time. 13,000 Cape Codders and Islanders joined the call. You can listen via the video below. 

 


Helpful Links

Many of these links will take you to public-facing sites maintained by the Commonwealth and Barnstable County.


Frequently Asked Questions 

What is a MassVax Site? Why doesn't Cape Cod have one nearby?

MassVax is shorthand for "mass vaccination", and it describes sites that are state-run and offer a significant share of available doses. They are the primary means through which the Governor has opted to distribute vaccines to Massachusetts residents. Obviously, the lack of a mass vaccination site near Cape Cod makes it very difficult for Cape Codders who are homebound or aren't tech savvy to book an appointment. The closest site to Cape Cod is in Dartmouth, nearly fifty miles from the bridge. Senator Cyr and 91 other elected and appointed Cape Cod officials recently wrote a letter to the Governor arguing for a MassVax site to be placed on Cape Cod. They have advocated, publicly and privately, and will continue to do so for as long as the circumstance remains this way.

92 Cape Officials to Baker: We Need a Mass Vaccination Site

Cape Cod frustrated as vaccine competition increases

'Cape Cod Is Being Left Behind': Sen. Cyr Slams State Vaccine Distribution

Can I bring a friend or a spouse to get vaccinated with me? I heard that was possible?

It depends. If you're scheduling an appointment at a MassVax site (run by the state) or a County site, you can schedule an appointment for a companion, even if they aren't eligible under the current Phase. 

For example, Elaine (aged 66) qualifies to receive a vaccine. Her spouse, Judy (aged 64) does not. If two appointments are available at a MassVax site in Dartmouth, Elaine and Judy are able to claim both, despite Judy being ineligible. 

Privately run sites will have their own policies. If you are scheduling at a site that isn't a MassVax site or a County site, you'll need to ask them what their policy is.

Why do sites have such different requirements to book, depending on where you go?  

The Commonwealth is relying on a patchwork of providers to deliver vaccines, and each were able to exact concessions from the Baker-Polito administration and the federal government around how appointments are scheduled. This is why each requires a different portal and may ask residents different questions as they book. Barnstable County’s public vaccine clinics are provided for residents of Cape Cod’s 15 towns and staffed by the County government. Private sites include entities such as CVS, Walgreens and Stop & Shop and are offered to eligible candidates state-wide. They are available, but may have additional requirements or request different information from visitors than the public sites.  

The website (www.maimmunizations.org) shows available appointments, why can’t I register for them?  

The short answer is a software glitch that the state is trying to fix. When someone cancels their existing appointment for a County clinic, a slot opens. The system then fills that open slot with another eligible candidate, drawing from an overflow list for that clinic only. There may be a brief lag time following a cancellation during which the system will show an available appointment (there is no option to register for that spot, as it would if the spot was actually available); once the appointment(s) is/are filled with the first person/people in the overflow list, the appointment disappears. The software calls this phenomenon a “waitlist” and anyone can choose to be on this list if the clinic is full. The list only exists for that specific clinic – it does not transfer to future clinic.

To receive notifications for when vaccines are available, visit BarnstableCountyHealth.org and enter your email address in the pop-up box that resembles the one below. This will not reserve you a spot, but it will allow you to be notified 24 hours before clinics are able to start scheduling appointments when new vaccines arrive in the County.

My friends and family who live in other states and have less health issues than I do have already been vaccinated and are already receiving their second dose in some cases. Why? 

The Governors of each state were given the power to set the parameters of vaccinating residents. Who is eligible and how appointments are scheduled will vary a lot with geography. Shipments of vaccine and allocations for each region are decided by the federal government. Barnstable County health officials are ready to deliver shots in arms the moment shipments of vaccines arrive, and we are greatly aided by the freezer capacity to store either of the two major versions of the vaccine. The limiting factor here is supply being heavily outpaced by demand.  

I am Phase 1 eligible but still couldn't get an appointment to be vaccinated before Phase 2 began. Can I still try to schedule an appointment? 

Yes, clinics offered to people who fall under Phase 2 are also offered to those who fell under Phase 1. 

Will anyone be delivering and administer vaccine to residents of senior subsidized housing? 

This will most likely become a possibility when vaccine availability increases. The current amount of vaccine we are receiving from the state is being used for regional clinics to maximize equitable distribution amongst the towns. However, when more vaccine starts coming in, the towns will likely hold their own clinics and perform their own distribution. They all have plans to address their senior communities. The Visiting Nurses Association and Councils on Aging will likely be involved in this effort. 

How can couples register at the same time? 

Currently the state-run registration system that the County uses for registration, PrepMod (maimmunizations.org), does not allow you to make an appointment for more than one person at a time. You will need to complete the process for each person. 

My legal residence is elsewhere, but I've been using my second home throughout the entire pandemic. Can I be vaccinated on Cape Cod, or will I have to return to wherever my legal primary residence is?

If you are a snowbird or otherwise staying in the region for an extended period of time and you are otherwise eligible under the state guidelines, you are welcome to receive your vaccines in Barnstable County. Please provide your Cape Cod address when registering.

Does Barnstable County have a wait list for vaccinations? 

No. There IS, however, a mechanism in the registration system to schedule overflow if someone cancels. This prevents vaccine from being wasted. If you register for one of our clinics and see an option to join a waitlist, please understand that the PrepMod vaccine registration system does process an overflow of registrants in case of a cancellation. This administrative feature is a safety mechanism; if someone were to cancel, PrepMod draws from that overflow. The process is random and based on clinic volume. It was put in place to avoid the wasting of doses that have already been allocated for a given clinic and cannot be used at a later date. 

The County does not, under any circumstances, add names to the waitlist. Further, the names on the list are not stored or transferred to a future clinic. If your name ends up on this administrative list, and a space in the clinic opens, you will receive an email notifying you that you are registered. If you do not receive an email, the clinic is full and you should try to register for a different clinic. 

I am unable to walk or stand long, so how do I find a drive-through clinic? 

Clinic details are listed on the state’s vaccine distribution map, as well as on our website. Most of our clinics are drive-through. 

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