BOSTON — The federal government needs to do a better job letting states know how much vaccine they can expect to receive so they can best plan how to vaccinate the most vulnerable populations before expanding to the general public, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday.
Currently Massachusetts receives about a week’s notice and that’s been adding to the frustration around how best to plan the state’s vaccination effort, Baker said.
“There is not a lot of visibility in how far ahead you can look with respect to what you can expect to get from the vaccine program,” the Republican said. “We’re sort of working on a one week window into what happens next. We’re told on a Tuesday what we’re going to get the following week.”
There are about 660,000 individuals in phase one of the state’s vaccination plan including medical workers, first responders and residents of long term care and congregate living facilities.
The state has so-far received about 420,000 doses — far less than the more than 1.3 million doses needed since each individual will need two doses to be considered fully vaccinated.
Baker said the federal government has been saying the state can expect about 80,000 or more doses a week.
The state is capable of administering more doses if the federal government can create more clarity about what exactly is in the pipeline, he said.
“I am not at all worried about whether or not we will have the capacity on the ground to put shots in the arms to everybody who’s eligible based on our criteria if the federal government gives us a little guidance and a little visibility into how much we can expect with certainty over more than just a week,” he said.