Delayed vaccines arrive in Massachusetts
Weather, staffing shortages cited in delays
AFTER A DAY of concern and confusing messages, the delayed shipments of COVID-19 vaccines have arrived in Massachusetts, and no appointments will be cancelled.
“Gov. Baker and the Command Center have been in constant communication with federal officials to rush vaccine shipments to Massachusetts,” said Kate Reilly, a spokesperson for the state COVID-19 Command Center. “Today, 135,025 [doses] arrived to the Commonwealth and as a result, providers will not have to cancel appointments.”
Thursday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker said he was seeking federal permission to send the National Guard to pick up vaccine doses that were delayed by the weather. Thursday evening, the state’s COVID-19 Command Center reported that the Guard was not being deployed.
Although Baker had earlier cited weather delays, which have delayed vaccine shipping nationwide, the Command Center statement said the delay was due to a staffing shortage at the vaccine manufacturing facilities. The late doses were scheduled to arrive Monday, and the Command Center raised the possibility that appointments would be cancelled.
Reilly reiterated what Baker has said during prior press conferences — that the governor “urges the federal government to provide larger shipments and more lead time for the state, so more eligible residents can get their shots as quickly and safely as possible.” Baker has complained that the federal government only lets states order one week’s worth of vaccine at a time, so the state cannot tell providers how many doses will be available to let people book appointments more than one week out.