SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – As first responders start to receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine this week, hospitals are running out.
The state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution is falling behind, as hospitals run out of doses for their healthcare workers. Health experts have described the coronavirus pandemic “as bad as it has ever been” and now, vaccine distribution has slowed down.
“My level of concern, even though western Massachusetts has been doing fairly well, if very very high and it feels like a race against time,” said Dr. Robert Roose, chief medical officer at Mercy Medical Center.
With the rising number of cases of COVID-19 around the world, health officials continue to work to find the best way to protect the public from the virus.
In Baystate Health Center, employees were receiving their second dose of the coronavirus vaccine but President and CEO Mark Keroack announced that the hospital has used all of its available doses, and doesn’t know when another shipment will arrive.
“Our assignment from the state is to complete the vaccination of our employees and then move on to the private practice providers in the area,” said Keroack.
First responders across the state have begun getting their first dose of the vaccine but health officials say Massachusetts is behind in its vaccination process compared to other states. This will ultimately have an impact on achieving herd immunity.
“We’re vaccinating about 6000-7000 a day,” Keroack added. “We are going to need to get that up to 40000-50000 a day. I know that the state has some plans to open up some larger centers.”
President-Elect Joe Biden plans to release nearly all available coronavirus vaccine doses when he takes office. Releasing nearly all doses would allow more people to get vaccinated with at least one dose.
The Trump administration is withholding half of U.S. vaccine production to ensure recipients receive their second dose.
Mercy Medical Center has also reported running low on vaccines.