Monday, July 26

Baker says state will release plan to vaccinate remaining groups Wednesday morning – The Boston Globe

The Baker administration has been criticized by many for the state’s troubled rollout of the vaccine, which was marred by a faulty online appointment portal that was prone in its early weeks to glitches and crashes, with no option for people to make appointments by phone, leaving residents frustrated.

The state eventually opened a telephone hotline in response to demands by residents, particularly those 75 and older who were among the first to be eligible for the vaccine.

So far, more than 2.6 million vaccinations have been administered in the state, according to data updated Tuesday afternoon by the Department of Public Health. The state is working to vaccinate 4.1 million adults.

The number of people fully vaccinated rose to 946,306 on Tuesday, according to the department. This includes those who have received either two shots of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccines or one shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

The state’s vaccine rollout has shown signs of improvement in recent weeks, according to a recent Globe analysis of the state’s vaccine data.

Massachusetts ranks second in New England, behind Connecticut, in total doses administered per 100,000 residents and is 10th among all states, according to data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. By contrast, the state came in last in New England during the first week of January, when just 2,197 doses were administered per 100,000 residents.

The rollout has encountered resistance from some state workers. About 30 percent of Massachusetts State Police, some 850 members in all, have not been vaccinated despite the department holding its own vaccination clinics and emergency personnel being among the earliest group eligible to get the vaccine.

Other groups have had to wait for the state to give them the green light. Educators and school staff became eligible for the vaccine Thursday, as state and federal officials push schools to reopen for in-person learning.

The slow start to the rollout appears to have impacted Baker’s popularity among voters. A poll from UMass Amherst and WCVB-TV released Monday showed his approval rating plummeting from 78 percent in August to 52 percent this month, a drop the poll’s lead researcher attributed to the Baker administration’s handling of the pandemic.

Nick Stoico can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @NickStoico.

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