LYNN (CBS) — Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday that Massachusetts can “absolutely” meet President Joe Biden’s May 1 directive for states to expand COVID vaccine eligibility to all adults – as long as there’s a “significant increase” in doses shipped by the federal government.
“If they really do deliver at the end of March, the beginning of April, the middle of April, the kinds of numbers that people have projected they may be able to deliver, then I think the president’s objectives are absolutely achievable,” Baker said. “But it’s going to require a significant increase in available supply to be able to deliver that kind of volume over a reasonably short period of time.”READ MORE: Water Conservation Urged In Massachusetts Amid Dry Spell
Massachusetts is currently only getting about 150,000 first doses a week. Baker has been calling on the federal government to do everything it can to increase supply.
READ MORE: Massachusetts Reports 1,831 New COVID Cases, 8 Additional Deaths
Gov. Baker: I think getting to the president's objective is absolutely doable but it's going to require a significant increase in available supply to be able to deliver that kind of volume over a reasonably short period of time. @wbz
— Anna Meiler (@AnnaMeiler) March 12, 2021
“They have said several times now that there will be a significant increase in Pfizer and Moderna and in J&J by the end of March,” Baker said. “And. . . if that translates into significant increases in the early part of April, that could make a big difference.”
Baker said he appreciated the president’s recognition of how difficult the past year has been, and said Biden’s goal of getting close to normal by the Fourth of July is one “everybody can understand.”
“The thing I think we need most to get there is for that vaccine supply to expand,” he said.
Baker was part of a roundtable discussion Friday morning with Secretary of Education James Peyser and Cardinal Seán O’Malley at St. Mary’s In Lynn about returning students to full in-person learning at Massachusetts schools during the pandemic.
Massachusetts elementary and middle schools have been given April deadlines to return to full-time in-person learning in the classroom. No date has been set yet for high school students.MORE NEWS: Dorchester Grandmother Killed By Stray Bullet While Sitting On Porch Identified As Delois Brown
Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you’re eligible and to book an appointment or call the hotline at 211.