Gov. Baker tours FEMA COVID-19 vaccination site with CDC director

Massachusetts

BOSTON (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker and Lt. Governor Karyn Polito toured the FEMA mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center with the head of the CDC Tuesday afternoon.

The governor said he is open to working with the federal government to potentially set up more of these sites but right now, the Hynes Convention center is the only FEMA-run site in the Commonwealth.

During his tour of the FEMA site Tuesday, Gov. Baker was joined by President Biden’s CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky. The two were also accompanied by Senator Ed Markey and Congressman Stephen Lynch.

In partnership with the federal government, Gov. Baker was able to secure thousands of additional doses of the vaccine for this FEMA site. The governor was questioned about how many of these additional doses would be available to residents in western Massachusetts.

“I don’t know how many other sites we’ll have a chance to get here in the Commonwealth but we constantly talk to the feds about opportunities to expand our footprint and theirs here in Massachusetts,” Baker said.

He applauded the work of regional collaborations like the one in Berkshire County for getting vaccines to residents who live far away from mass vaccination sites. However, Berkshire County Lawmakers say they’ve actually seen a decrease in the number of vaccines coming to the region despite an increase in positive cases.

Gov. Baker said the states COVID command center will be looking into that issue ASAP.

Walensky said she was so impressed to see everyone wearing masks and following COVID protocols and she’s asking everyone to continue taking these measures for a little while longer.

In an interview with CNN Monday, Walensky said she had a sense of “impending doom” about the future of the pandemic in the country. During Tuesday’s news conference, she cleared up her comments, saying she meant that “impending doom” is preventable if everyone does their part.

“Wear your masks, continue to distance, and do the things that keep you safe so that we don’t have to see sickness or hospitalizations with COVID-19 for anyone who is supposed to get their vaccine the following week,” said CDC Director Walensky.

Under President Joe Biden’s vaccine plan, 90 percent of U.S. adults will be eligible to receive their shots by April 19, which is Patriots Day in the Commonwealth, and also the day that all Massachusetts residents will be eligible to get their vaccines.

Something that Walensky says should give us all so much hope.

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