Governor Charlie Baker was back at the Hynes Convention Center mass vaccination site on April 6, where he received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and provided an update on vaccinations in the Commonwealth.
After receiving his shot, Baker said that “the process was quick and easy, and I feel fine.”
He said that the state Department of Public Health reported two days worth of data, which reported that there were 2,912 new COVID cases, 707 hospitalizations, and 603 in the ICU statewide.
Baker said that the total number of cases in people under the age of 50 now makes up a “far greater share of the total cases than they did previously.” He said that the number of cases in people over the age of 60 “have declined pretty dramatically.”
Statewide, more than 1.5 million people are fully vaccinated, Baker said, and the state is “making significant progress in distributing the vaccine.” Massachusetts remains in the top 10 of all 50 states for number of vaccines administered.
Baker said that 82 percent of residents ages 75 and older have received their first dose of the vaccine, which he said is “significantly above the national average of 86 percent.” Additionally, Massachusetts is “one of 13 states that have vaccinated over 80 percent of our 75+ population,” he said. He added that 24 percent of the state’s Black residents and 16 percent of Hispanic residents have been vaccinated, which is “double the national average.”
However, “we obviously still have more work to do,” Baker said.
As of April 5, residents ages 55 and older and those with one qualifying medical condition are now eligible to receive the vaccine. The list of those conditions can be found at mass.gov. Additional conditions have been added, including Type 1 Diabetes, as well as cystic fibrosis, Baker said.
“The goal is to make sure everyone in the Commonwealth who wants a vaccine can get one as quickly as possible,” he said. The state now has more than 300 vaccination sites run by a variety of organizations. Residents can still preregister for an appointment at one of the mass vaccination sites at https://www.mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.
Baker said that these sites are “highly efficient and they’re doing thousands of doses every single day.” The Hynes Convention Center is administering 7,000 vaccines per day.
“I just want to say that this vaccine is a critical tool to help end the pandemic,” Baker said. “It’s also a critical tool to help people feel safe and to help them protect themselves, their families, their friends, their coworkers, their neighbors, and their community from the virus.”
Baker said that the vaccine is safe, though it may cause some side effects. “That’s just a sign the vaccine is taking,” he said. “And you certainly won’t get COVID from the shot. The COVID vaccines also protect you from the variants.”
He then talked about the vaccine infrastructure in the state.
“We’ve built up a significant vaccine infrastructure to handle far more doses than what we get from the federal government on a weekly basis,” he said, and there has been an increase in doses shipped from the federal government.
He said that more than 2.5 million Massachusetts residents have gotten at least a first dose of the vaccine, and that 90 percent of all elementary schools in the state have returned to in person learning.
He said that people “just need to hold on a little bit longer. We all still need to get our guard up. People need to keep doing what they’ve been doing for the better part of the past year. Try to feel your informal gatherings small,” and “when it is your turn, go get vaccinated.”