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Baker: Vaccination Program Working

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BOSTON — Gov. Charlie Baker touted the number of vaccinations completed in the state after receiving his first dose of the  Pfizer vaccine on Tuesday.
 
"Over 4 million doses of vaccine had been administered here in the commonwealth and today we'll hit the milestone of having over one and a half million people who are fully vaccinated. We're making significant progress on vaccinating our residents," Baker said at his COVID-19 update at the mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center. "We obviously have more work to do. But we're making significant progress on vaccinating a larger and larger share of our population, which will help us get closer to returning to normal."
 
The state has now administered at least one dose to 82 percent of residents age 75 and older and to 4 percent of Black residents and 16 percent of Hispanics, which the governor says leads the national average. More than 2.5 million have received a first dose.
 
The age group eligible for vaccinations has dropped to 55 and older and more qualifying health conditions have been added in line with the updated guidelines of the U.S. Centers of Disease Control. This adds about 1 million more residents to the eligibility list.
 
This week, the state received 444,930 first and second doses as part of the state allocation not including the 385,000 doses to federally supported pharmacy programs, health centers and community vaccination center, including at the Hynes. These numbers include a one-time shipment of 108,800 J&J vaccines.
 
First doses and second dose state allocations (total doses), were distributed among providers as follows:
  • Health systems and health care providers (excluding community health centers): 163,960
  • Regional Collaboratives and Local Boards of Health: 118,230
  • Mass vaccination locations: 115,890
  • Community Health Centers state allocation only: 31,350
  • Retail pharmacies (non-CVS) state allocation only: 4,500
  • Mobile Clinics supporting long-term care facilities, congregate care, affordable/low-income senior housing and homebound individuals: 10,000
Baker noted the number of infections in older people has dropped significantly but cautioned that hospitals are seeing rising cases of patients in their 30s, 40s and 50s. This is not the time for people to let down their guard, he said.
 
"This has been a year unlike any other and it's been filled with a tremendous amount of heartbreak and anxiety and lost opportunities and, and at the same time tremendous acts of kindness and grace," said Baker. "But I think for all of us, there's simply no question that the arrival in such a short period of time I'm a vaccine that works is a giant sigh of relief. And I have heard the same thing from friends of mine had been vaccinated. I heard it from my father who said that getting vaccinated was for him, it was the first signal the first sign that he might actually be able to hug his grandchildren."

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April Snow in the Forecast


Main Street in North Adams on Wednesday.
Say goodbye to this burst of spring — Mother Nature prefers a little chaos in her work.
 
The warm temperatures of Wednesday are about to plummet as a snowstorm — yes a snowstorm — bears down on the Berkshires. 
 
The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Pittsfield north and parts of Southern Vermont beginning Thursday evening through Friday night. Total accumulations could reach 6 inches in the higher elevations.
 
Accuweather is forecasting up to 10 inches with rain all day Thursday and temperatures dipping into the 40s. Thursday night will temperatures dropping into the 30s.
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