Charlie Baker Defends Lagging Coronovirus Vaccine Rollout in Massachusetts

Massachusetts is scheduled to begin offering COVID-19 vaccines to individuals in mandibular care settings next week, the latest group to become eligible to work through the first phase of the officer’s rollout.

However, with the epidemic raging, some are questioning why the process is not happening fast.

according to this The washington postVaccine Distribution Tracker, Massachusetts ranks 26th in the nation when it comes to the number of people per person who have received their first dose, which is behind New York and other New England states. And with the federal government issuing new guidance this week urging states to expand the pool of individuals who can get a vaccine, Charlie Baker is defending his administration’s regression approach.

“I know it’s not popular, but I really hope that we are able soon with that vaccine to kill the populations for whom life is most at risk, and for whom health The care system depends and depends on providing care, ”Baker told reporters during a press conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Despite the announcement Tuesday by President Donald Trump’s administration to direct vaccines to all individuals over the age of 65, as well as younger individuals with co-morbidities, their administration had received no such guidance.

In the first phase of the current three-stage vaccine rollout in Massachusetts, officials are prioritizing (in this order) health care workers; Nursing homes and other long-term care facilities; First responder; Isolate care settings, such as homeless shelters and prisons; And other health care workers who are not treating COVID-19 patients.

COVID-19 vaccination timeline during phase 1 by group. —Masgo

Massachusetts recently adjusted its vaccine priority order to add individuals over the age of 75 or has several co-morbidities to begin the second phase of the rollout, which is set to begin next month, if federal According to Baker, the government is continuing as expected.

The administration also announced on Wednesday that individuals in low-income senior housing would be added to the first group in the second phase, including essential employees, such as teachers and grocery store employees. The rest of the general public will not be eligible to take the vaccine until April.

However, some states have already made the rollout wider for the wider public.

West Virginia, which is Leading per capita vaccination in the country, Is already offering the vaccine to all residents over the age of 80, as well as teachers over the age of 50. Florida topped the priority list for residents over 65 last month. California did the same this week. In other places, the remaining dose is given to virtually anyone, regardless of their age.

According to Bloomberg, Massachusetts has used 33.1 percent of its allocated dose, which is tied for the 35th highest out of 50 states. Five states, including Connecticut and Rhode Island, have administered more than 50 percent of their dose.

Some health care professionals Baker in Massachusetts called for greater flexibility to use vaccine supplements. But the governor on Wednesday insisted that the efforts should focus strictly on those most vulnerable or exposed to COVID-19.

“I don’t know [in] Many people who are the same age as my children are people who have received vaccinations before a home health worker or health care worker or long term care worker or long term care residents or some of these other populations or people who have There are many co-morbidities and over the age of 70, ”he said on Wednesday. “To be honest, I don’t think we should do that. I think the first should be focused on those who have the most to lose, or who are fundamental to our ability to care for those who have the most to lose. “

While the governor has said the initial stages of the rollout have met their “bumpy” expectations, Baker said that if the federal distribution of the vaccines is in line with the estimates, Massachusetts would be “in a position of 60 to 90 days It is possible.” “To offer the vaccine to the wider population.

Earlier this week, the state announced its first mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, which would first serve only first responders. But officials hope they will make it available to the general public once they are eligible. Other potential mass vaccination sites, such as Fenway Park, are also being discussed.

Secretary of State Bill Galvin on Thursday suggested that this experiment be done to serve the eligible population, with the establishment of vaccination centers adjacent to polling places in the upcoming local elections in the state.

The push comes as Massachusetts continues to see high rates of COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations. According to Brown University’s Coronavirus Risk Dashboard, the state currently has the highest number of new cases per person per day. And while this may be partially explained by the state’s high COVID-19 test rate (which is third in the country), Williams College economics professor Pamela Zakila Tweeted this week The situation, combined with the lagging vaccination rollout, answers this question:

“With so much relevant medical and public health human capital, how are we f * cking it so badly?” Zakila wrote.

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