BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said he is frustrated that a tight vaccine supply is preventing health care providers from vaccinating as many people against COVID-19 as they can.
Baker said the state has the capacity to administer 242,000 doses of vaccine a week, but has only been receiving 103,000 to 106,000 doses a week.
“At this point, we have far more capacity to deliver vaccine than we have available vaccine," Baker said Saturday after touring a mass vaccination site at the Eastfield Mall Springfield. "I’d like to get to the point where we are in the business of delivering as much vaccine as we possibly can given the capacity we have built to the people of the commonwealth, because, let’s face it, this is big a part of helping us get over COVID and getting it behind us.”
Massachusetts has now administered more than 1 million doses of vaccine, Baker said.
The focus in Massachusetts will remain on making sure as many residents who are 75 and older get vaccinated before expanding vaccine eligibility, Baker said.
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott will be extending the pandemic-related state of emergency on Monday for another month.
“This is simply the tool we need to respond to the pandemic,” he said Friday during his twice-weekly virus briefing.
He said he’s hopeful that there will not be too many more of these extensions in the future as more Vermonters get vaccinated, particularly those vulnerable to severe illness or death.
Then “we’ll begin to again turn the spigot once more and get back to whatever normal will be,” Scott said.
A COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Bangor expanded its operation, with plans to vaccinate 5,000 people a day.
Gov. Janet Mills visited the Northern Light vaccination clinic at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on Saturday.
Mills visited the clinic on the opening day for a second vaccination pod that includes 20 more tables and 30 more volunteer staff.
“This is the picture of efficiency. People are not anxious, they’re not angry," Mills said. “They haven’t been crowded into a room with other people. This is so smooth and efficient and I believe we can and are replicating that elsewhere in Maine.”
Mills said about a quarter of a million doses of vaccine have been administered in Maine in the six weeks since the vaccination program began.
"The more people who get vaccinated today, tomorrow, the next day, the next week, the more we’ll be able to beat back the variants we hope, and beat back the virus,” she said.
A bill aimed at helping people re-enter the workforce after the coronavirus pandemic has cleared the state Senate.
The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jay Kahn, D-Keene, would create a workforce pathway program modeled on programs in other states that offer short term training to meet demand in specific industries such as health care, advanced manufacturing, technology trades and automotive.
He says such programs save employers money in recruitment and training, while also filling crucial workforce needs.
The bill passed the Senate Thursday on a vote of 22-2. It now goes to the House.