Baker: Feds should redeploy vaccines to Mass.
Governor says some states not taking full allocation
GOV. CHARLIE BAKER said on Thursday that his administration is asking the federal government to adjust its vaccine shipments, lowering what’s sent to states that aren’t using all of their current allocations and increasing the amount sent to states like Massachusetts where the vaccines are in high demand.
“There are counties and there are states that are no longer even taking down the allocation that’s made available to them by the feds,” Baker said at a press conference in Pittsfield. “They’re basically saying, ‘Don’t send us anymore, we haven’t been able to put the stuff you’ve sent us recently to work.’ That is not what’s going on here in Massachusetts.”
Baker said Massachusetts has high demand from residents for the vaccine and the capacity to vaccinate as many as three times more people on a daily basis.
“We do have very little vaccine hesitancy and a lot of demand,” Baker said.
Baker said his administration has reached out to the Biden administration on the issue and plans to talk to the state’s congressional delegation about it next week. He said the Biden administration is aware of the issue but not sure how to address it yet.
“Maybe the feds should think about changing some of their allocation methodologies,” Baker said.
The Washington Post, quoting anonymous sources, recently reported that 13 states had more than 100,000 doses apiece available to them but not ordered. The group of states included Indiana and Texas.“The delays have gained notice inside the federal government, where officials have discussed whether performance metrics, including how quickly states are ordering and using their vaccine doses, and getting them to vulnerable groups, should be part of allocation decisions, according to three people familiar with the issue,” the Post reported. “Any new approach, however, would need sign-off from the White House, which has been at pains to avoid the appearance of penalizing some states while boosting others, including by directing additional doses to virus hot spots.”
Baker said the state is on pace to vaccinate every adult in Massachusetts that wants to be vaccinated by the end of June. He said that timetable could be moved up a couple weeks if the state’s supply of vaccines increases.