Baker expecting vaccines for 150,000 people this month

Governor declines to say who will be first in line

GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said he expects the state to receive 300,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of the month, enough to treat 150,000 people since the initial treatments require two doses per person.

Baker declined to say who will receive priority for the initial doses. A federal advisory panel earlier this week recommended health care workers and residents of long-term care facilities should be first in line; Baker would only say that both those groups would be at the top of the state’s list. The governor is scheduled to file a vaccine distribution plan with the federal government on Friday.

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Bruce Mohl

Editor, CommonWealth

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

About Bruce Mohl

Bruce Mohl is the editor of CommonWealth magazine. Bruce came to CommonWealth from the Boston Globe, where he spent nearly 30 years in a wide variety of positions covering business and politics. He covered the Massachusetts State House and served as the Globe’s State House bureau chief in the late 1980s. He also reported for the Globe’s Spotlight Team, winning a Loeb award in 1992 for coverage of conflicts of interest in the state’s pension system. He served as the Globe’s political editor in 1994 and went on to cover consumer issues for the newspaper. At CommonWealth, Bruce helped launch the magazine’s website and has written about a wide range of issues with a special focus on politics, tax policy, energy, and gambling. Bruce is a graduate of Ohio Wesleyan University and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. He lives in Dorchester.

The governor disclosed the vaccine information at a press conference in Worcester to herald the opening this Sunday of a field hospital at the DCU Center to help relieve pressure on area hospitals.  State officials said they also plan to open a second field hospital in Lowell as part of an effort to help hospitals deal with the second surge of COVID-19 cases and are looking for a third location in southeastern Massachusetts. Officials said there are currently no plans to open a field hospital in Boston; during the spring, a field hospital was opened at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center but it wasn’t heavily used.

Eric Dickson, the president and CEO of UMass Memorial Health Care, which will oversee the field hospital in Lowell, said it will open initially with 25 beds and then expand to 50 in its second week. He and state officials are recruiting staff to expand capacity. In the spring, the field hospital operated out of the DCU Center used 125 of its 200 beds.