Baker: 99% of Bay Staters follow through with second dose

Boston Statehouse

A nurse prepares a dose of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine against the new coronavirus to be injected at the Andras Josa Teaching Hospital in Nyiregyhaza, Hungary, Sunday, Jan. 24, 2021. (Attila Balazs/MTI via AP)

BOSTON (SHNS) – Health experts are grappling with a rising rate of Americans who declined to receive their second dose of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, but Massachusetts so far has bucked that trend, according to Gov. Charlie Baker.

Citing data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, The New York Times reported Sunday that more than 5 million people in the United States missed their second doses for Moderna or Pfizer, representing almost 8 percent of those who received a first shot.

Baker cited that story during a Monday press conference while touting that in Massachusetts, “we don’t have a lot of hesitancy” about the vaccine.

“There were a couple of stories about people in other parts of the country not getting their second vaccine after they get the first,” Baker said. “Here in Massachusetts, we’re north of 99 percent of the population (that) gets their second vaccine. Part of that is because we do everything we can to encourage providers to book that second appointment while people are still there having their waiting period after their first one.”

Asked what might be driving higher interest in the vaccine in New England, Baker said the pandemic’s early impacts on the Northeast might have played a role.

“We got hit really hard, and I think for a lot of folks in the Northeast, that has stayed with us throughout the course of the pandemic and has a lot to do with why people have been so enthusiastic around the Northeast about getting vaccinated,” he said. 

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