Baker Says J&J Pause Won’t Slow Vaccination Efforts

Gov. Charlie Baker

HYANNIS – Governor Charlie Baker said that the pause on Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccinations will not significantly slow state efforts to vaccinate the population against the virus. 

“We’re on track to fully vaccinate 2 million residents here in the Commonwealth this week, which would be about halfway to our goal for vaccinating eligible individuals in Massachusetts,” said Baker.

“We’re hopeful that we’ll far exceed that goal and get as many people vaccinated as possible.”

According to Baker, the Commonwealth received 353,660 first and second doses of vaccine from the federal government, including 12,400 of the J&J shots.

This week, the federal government has also distributed 130,510 doses of the vaccine to CVS Health sites statewide as part of the Federal Retail Pharmacy Partnership and some qualified community health centers.

The J&J shots will be stored until federal health officials with the Food and Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention can finish their investigation into potentially dangerous blood clots that affected 6 women who received the shot nationwide.

“According to federal officials, more information is expected to be available within days to help states manage vaccine distribution. In the meantime, J&J shots will remain paused here in the Commonwealth,” said Baker.

The state will continue to utilize the Pfizer and Moderna brand two-dose vaccines, which have made up the bulk of vaccinations statewide.

Four regional collaboratives were added to the state’s preregistration booking system, as well.

These collaboratives, which will be available later this week, include Northborough, West Springfield, Palmer and Northampton.

Users of the system will also now have the ability to select their vaccination location before selecting from available appointments.

State health officials said that over 1.6 million people have preregistered with the system, with around 1 million having been contacted with an appointment.

As the April 19 date that all Massachusetts residents 16 and older become eligible for the vaccine approaches, Baker said that the state will continue to make improvements to the system.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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