Available doses not keeping up with vaccination plan

Boston Statehouse

BOSTON (SHNS) – Massachusetts would need more than 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine to fully inoculate everybody in the first phase of the Baker administration’s three-tiered plan, Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday.

Thursday report from the Department of Public Health shows that, as of Tuesday, a total of 347,450 doses had been shipped to Massachusetts, and 239,147 of those doses — a little more than two-thirds — have been administered.

“We are not holding on to any vaccine. Nobody’s holding on to any vaccine,” Baker said after signing a new hospital signage and safety law. “We have 660,000 people in phase one. We’ve only received roughly 400,000 vaccine shots to begin with. Those 660,000 all need to get vaccinated twice, they need to get dosed twice to be vaccinated. You do the math, that’s 1.3 million vaccine shots — excuse me, doses — to actually fully vaccinate phase one, which is supposed to end sometime in early February.”

Shots became available to first responders this week, and the next portion of phase one is set to begin next week, with vaccinations starting in congregate care settings including shelters, group homes and correctional facilities.

The state’s first large-scale vaccination site, at Gillette Stadium, is slated to open to first responders on Monday. Baker said he anticipates there will be four or five such mass vaccination sites set up around the state by the end of the month.

The combination of those locations, pharmacies, health care providers and community health centers “starts to look like the type of infrastructure that we’ll need to start doing thousands and thousands and thousands of these every day,” Baker said. “But again, we need to know that the vaccine is actually going to be coming in volumes that are great enough to actually make sure that we can take advantage of that,” he said.

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