Baker Highlights Boosters As Winter COVID Cases Pick Up

Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito

HYANNIS – Gov. Charlie Baker highlighted the importance of COVID-19 booster shots as the nation faces a continued uptick in cases due to the Delta variant as well as reports of its first cases of Omicron. 

“Getting a booster is free and is available at over a thousand locations around the Commonwealth,” said Baker during the presentation in Brockton on Friday. 

Those who received their second dose of Pfizer’s vaccine 6 months ago and those who received Johnson and Johnson shot 2 months ago are eligible for a booster shot now. 

Booster brands can be mixed-and-matched, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

When it comes to vaccine rollouts at the end of 2021, Baker said that a lot has changed since the initial supply struggles early in the pandemic. 

“At that time, Massachusetts still had significant COVID-related restrictions for businesses and some cases for large groups, and we were racing at that time to get our residents vaccinated so that we could all get back to something close to normal,” said Baker.

“We’ve come a long way, obviously, since that time. Vaccines have allowed us to reopen our economy, and just as importantly make sure that our kids are able to go to school on an in-person basis, and last week families were able to spend a normal thanksgiving together because of the presence of vaccines here in Massachusetts.” 

Baker said that New England is outpacing the rest of the country in terms of those fully vaccinated, and Massachusetts is just behind New Hampshire in leading the nation in number of residents with at least one dose. 

Despite high demand for the boosters, Baker said that there will be enough supply for those who want to get a shot. He said residents may have to wait up to two weeks for an appointment if one is not immediately available locally. 

According to Baker, state sponsored high-volume booster locations can administer up to 3,500 shots per day, with more locations on the way.

Those who live, work or study in Massachusetts are able to get a shot from one of the state-run clinics. 

The state’s vaxfinder online tool can be used to find both initial dose and booster shot appointments.

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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