State House News Service
Despite some bumps in the road in the COVID-19 vaccine distribution process, Gov. Charlie Baker said he still anticipates Massachusetts will receive the 300,000 doses it originally expected by the end of the year — Thursday — and that the state’s vaccine rollout timeline should remain on track.
The state has received about 86,000 first doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 146,000 first doses of the Moderna vaccine, Baker said, with another 68,000 allocated to a long-term care vaccination program in partnership with CVS and Walgreens. Vaccination began in long-term care facilities Monday, and Baker said there will be more than 50 long-term care vaccine clinics this week with an estimated 20,000 individuals getting their first dose in that time period. The first vaccines were administered Tuesday at the state-run soldiers’ homes in Chelsea and Holyoke, and Baker said that as of Wednesday morning, everyone in those facilities who wanted a shot has received one.
Baker said his administration plans to provide more information next week about vaccinating first responders, and Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders said a meeting is planned Thursday with first responders and the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to discuss draft plans. Firefighters on Tuesday criticized the intended approach for first-responder vaccination, saying that local boards of health “are not structurally prepared” for it. Baker said the ultimate approach will need to work from an administrative and data-reporting perspective, and take into account that communities structure their public safety programs in different ways.