BOSTON, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Governor Charlie Baker addressed the COVID-19 vaccine rollout at his press conference Tuesday.
His main message is that the speed of vaccination can't improve without more shots.
Throughout the press conference Tuesday, Baker repeatedly compared Massachusetts’ vaccine rollout to other states with 5 million people or more.
Connecticut, which Monday switched to an age-based rollout system has a population under that threshold.
The governor’s biggest concern with respect to vaccine speed is supply from the federal government.
“It was a bad user experience which we own,” Baker said.
Baker said the state is continuing to improve the vaccine signup system ahead of Thursday when the next block of appointments will become available.
Last week appointments were still made, although many of the one million newly eligible people went through the whole process only to walk away with no shot.
Baker blamed the limited supply of shots.
“When you get 450,000 requests for vaccines, new first dose vaccines each week, and you have 100,000 first dose vaccines that are available, that creates anxiety,” Baker explained.
This came as people in western Mass. clamored for more locations. The mayors of West Springfield, Agawam, and Southwick wrote a letter to the state asking about the possibility of a vaccine site at the Big E Fairgrounds.
Western Mass News has learned that Amherst and Northampton have been selected to run regional collaborative vaccine sites in each town. The collective will get 5,000 doses per week.
“Many local boards of health are key players in these regional collaborations,” Baker said.
Baker said the goal is to continue sending vaccine doses to sites with bigger capacity.
“So that you can deliver a certain number of shots every single day and are in a position to be able to move people successfully through your process and to be able to do that on a regular basis,” Baker said.
Pfizer and Moderna reps promised to boost their U.S. output of vaccines in the next month.
The Johnson and Johnson vaccine is set to go before the FDA for emergency use authorization this Friday.