BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts health officials expect that by the end of the week, more than 2 million residents will have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
Gov. Charlie Baker discussed the upcoming milestone during his press conference on Monday. In one week, all Massachusetts residents 16 and older will become eligible to receive the COVID vaccine.READ MORE: Warnings Issued For 2 Rhode Island Ponds With High Bacteria
“We would encourage everybody who will be eligible to sign up and schedule a vaccine when they are eligible. The vaccine saves lives,” said Baker. “If there’s any doubt in anybody’s mind about that they should take a look at the success that vaccinating older Americans has had on older American case counts and older American hospitalizations. They have plunged dramatically since we began vaccinating senior citizens here in the US, back at the end of December.”
Baker was asked how long people who become eligible next week will have to wait for a shot.READ MORE: Hingham Teen Finishes His Last Cancer Treatment, Sets Up Lemonade Stand For The Jimmy Fund
“How long people are going to need to wait to get vaccinated is going to be 100% a function of supply,” he said.
The Massachusetts governor said the state is expecting to receive a smaller allotment of vaccines this week than in recent shipments, particularly due to a reduction of Johnson & Johnson single-shot doses. The company is dramatically scaling back shipments by 80% for the week, with only about 12,000 coming to Massachusetts.
“We have the infrastructure to administer a lot more vaccine than we’ve actually got. But unfortunately, we’ve been told by the federal government that shipments, especially with respect to the J&J vaccine, will be much lower this week after we received the one time increase last week,” Baker said.MORE NEWS: Falling Debris On Mass. Pike Closes Lanes, Causes Heavy Delays In Charlton
Baker said a significant number of vaccine doses are going into the federal government’s retail pharmacy program, which means “a lot” of Massachusetts will end up getting their shots at those stores such as CVS.