Gov. Baker Provides Vaccination Update; Addresses Pause on J&J

Governor Charlie Baker held a press conference on April 14, where he provided an update on vaccination in the state as well as addressed the recent recommendation by the CDC and the FDA to pause the administration of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

Baker reported that as of Tuesday, there were 1400 new cases of COVID-19 in the state, 714 people were hospitalized with the virus, and 165 were in the ICU.

He also said that so far, there have been more than 4.6 million total doses of the COVID-19 vaccine distributed statewide, and the state is “on track to fully vaccinate 2.1 million residents this week.”

Baker said that “we continue to be a national leader with respect to getting residents vaccinated.”

He then spoke about the pause on the Johnson & Johnson vaccine after six cases of a “serious medical condition” were reported in individuals who had received that vaccine.

Baker advised any residents who recently received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and have “severe symptoms” such as severe abdominal pain or leg pain to reach out to their healthcare provider.

Every Massachusetts resident over the age of 16 will become eligible for the vaccine beginning Monday, April 19, which Baker said is a “significant milestone in our mission to vaccinate eligible residents and bring this pandemic to a close.”

Baker then announced that from April 19 through April 25, there will be “Red Sox Week” at the Hynes Convention Center mass vaccination location, where up to 20,000 first doses will be reserved for residents from communities that are “disproportionately affected by COVID-19,” he said.

He said that the state’s partner organizations have been “working hard to get more people and households out to get their shots.”

Red Sox Week at the Hynes will offer a completely bilingual experience, with Spanish speaking staff and volunteers, “Red Sox themed attractions,” a selfie station, and even Wally the Green Monster will make an appearance.

“The goal is to encourage more people to come to Boston to get vaccinated with family and neighbors,” Baker said.

With Phase 3 of the vaccination plan beginning on Monday, an additional 1.7 million people will be eligible statewide.

He said that residents should “expect it may take several weeks to book an appointment,” but residents can still preregister for a vaccine at one of the state’s mass vaccination locations, as well as six regional collaborative providers that have been added.

“Millions of people across the country have been vaccinated,” Baker said, who received his first dose of the Pfizer vaccine on April 6.

“It’s critical for all of us to take advantage of the opportunity when we have it,” he said, adding that “we can’t let down our guard.” He said that people still need to follow all of the COVID protocols and guidance.

“When you’re eligible, please sign up and get vaccinated,” Baker said.

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