Vaccinations increase, cases rise in young people

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – For the first time since COVID-19 vaccination efforts began, Massachusetts reported more than 100,000 vaccines administered in a single daily report on Friday.

However, just as vaccine distribution ramps up, there is now a shortage in the supply chain nationwide. Shipments of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are expected to be down by 80 percent nationwide this week as the company struggles with manufacturing problems. Massachusetts is set to receive only around 12,000 doses this week.

“The state got a huge release of J&J a couple of weeks ago, about 100,000 doses, and they chose to allocate them to some of the hot spots including Hampden County so we were able to receive an extra 5,000 doses. That allocation because of the contamination in one of their processing plants has fallen to 12,000 to only a tenth of what they got before,” Baystate President and CEO Dr. Mark Keroack said.

Baystate Health still has plenty of beds available, but cases are rising in most states across the country, mostly in younger people. Dr. Keroack attributes that to the state’s vaccination distribution process.

“If you look at people over the age of 65, about three quarters of them are already immune so we are seeing fewer and fewer cases in older individuals,” Dr. Keroack said.

Dr. Keroack believes that once younger people start getting vaccinated, those numbers will change. April 19 is when all adults 16 and older will be eligible for the vaccine.

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