BOSTON (SHNS) – There’s a good chance Massachusetts has reached the governor’s goal of fully vaccinating 4.1 million people against COVID-19, but it could depend on how you count vaccinations and who you ask.
Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders tweeted Saturday celebrating that, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, 4.1 million residents had received the necessary doses to be considered fully vaccinated.
But when the state Department of Public Health’s own update came out later Saturday afternoon, it showed that the state was about 28,000 people shy of 4.1 million fully vaccinated residents. For one thing, the state and federal agencies report slightly different information. As of DPH’s latest update issued Sunday afternoon, which presented the number of doses reported as administered through Saturday, the number of people who have gotten fully vaccinated in Massachusetts was 4,088,474. Massachusetts also made vaccine doses available to out-of-state residents who work or study here.
According to the CDC, which published data on Bay State residents reported as fully vaccinated as of 6 a.m. Sunday, the full vaccination number was 4,118,721. The CDC also reported a higher total of vaccine doses administered in Massachusetts — 8,656,159 doses administered as of 6 a.m. Sunday versus DPH’s report of 8,449,443 total doses reported as administered by the end of Saturday night.
Throughout the vaccination effort, public health officials at DPH have cautioned that the agency’s reports are based on information that providers report to the state — often creating a lag time between when a dose is put into someone’s arm and when it gets counted in a DPH daily update. When the state paused the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine for about 10 days in April, the number of J&J doses reported as administered in Massachusetts climbed almost every day. The state’s COVID-19 Command Center said at the time that “any J&J vaccine doses appear to be administered because of a lag in reporting.”