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Massachusetts Vaccine Companion Rule Gets Abused By Some

Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at a press conference at the State House on February 8, 2021 in Boston. (Matt Stone/ Boston Herald via Getty Images)
Gov. Charlie Baker speaks at a press conference at the State House on February 8, 2021 in Boston. (Matt Stone/ Boston Herald via Getty Images)

Some people in Massachusetts are offering rides and even money for a chance to take advantage of a state rule that allows those who accompany people age 75 and older to a coronavirus vaccination appointment to get a shot at the same time.

But the rash of online ads from people looking to cut the vaccination line drew a stern rebuke from Gov. Charlie Baker, who warned against offers of help from complete strangers.

Some people are posting to Boston Craigslist, offering to drive seniors to their vaccine appointments sot hey can be vaccinated as well. (Screenshot via Craigslist)
Some people are posting to Boston Craigslist, offering to drive seniors to their vaccine appointments sot hey can be vaccinated as well. (Screenshot via Craigslist)

“If you’re contacted by somebody soliciting to take you to a site, please report it to the authorities,” Baker said on Thursday.

Seniors should only accept help from someone they trust, he said. Many senior centers in the state are offering help.

Some officials called on the Republican governor to put the vaccine companion program on hold.

“While it may have been well-meaning, it took less than 24 hours for this new state policy to be abused,” Boston City Councilor Andrea Campbell in a statement.

Democratic State Rep. Steve Owens said a group of lawmakers have urged Baker to pause the program, noting that he saw an ad from someone offering $250 to drive an eligible resident to a vaccination site.

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