BERKSHIRE COUNTY, Mass. (NEWS10) — Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker took a tour around the Berkshire Community College vaccine clinic Thursday. 1,200 appointments were booked at the clinic.
Local officials say they’re proud to show Governor Baker their continued efforts putting shots in arms.
“I am excited. It’s nice for him to see what we have been doing. We’ve heard about it and said how great of a job we’re doing, but he’s never physically been here,” says Leslie Drager, Lead Public Health Nurse with the Berkshire Public Health Alliance.
The Berkshires rank the highest population percentage vaccinated in the state. However, the state is still experiencing a lack of vaccine supply from the federal government.
“The only thing that has been problematic is having enough vaccine to give to people,” says Laura Kittross, Berkshire Regional Planning Commission.
Officials say appointments book within minutes at the Berkshire Community College vaccine clinic. clinic. Officials are still experiencing the ongoing issue, the demand still exceeds the supply.
“We could be open five or six days a week, but there isn’t enough vaccine to make that worth the while,” says Kittross. In Massachusetts, all Bay Staters 16 years and older are eligible for the vaccine.
In New York, there’s hundreds of vaccine appointments available at the state PODs, however that’s not the same case in the Commonwealth.
“If you have folks that aren’t taking down the allocation that’s being made available to them — we here in Massachusetts would love to have that because we have people here who want to get vaccinated,” says Gov. Charlie Baker.
“I know the Governor and Lt. Governor want more supply, too. If they could make it appear out of thin air they would, and they would share it with us and so I think it’s a matter of adequately managing the supply,” says Pittsfield Mayor Linda Tyer.
Mayor Tyer says 45% of people in the Berkshires have received at least the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
“We’re ready as soon as the vaccine becomes more available. The county has the man power to hold more clinics; however, they can’t because of the lack of supply. “…That is the challenge, the lack of supply.”