SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Governor Charlie Baker provided an update on COVID-19 vaccinations with Baystate Health President and CEO Mark Keroack at Baystate Medical Center Tuesday morning.
The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reported 4,358 new COVID-19 cases, 55,570 on Monday. Since the beginning of the pandemic over 11 million tests have been administered in Massachusetts.
Governor Baker said there are currently 2,339 patients in the hospital in Massachusetts with COVID-19 and 423 people are in the ICU. He added that fewer people are getting tested due to holidays but they expect to see testing numbers continue to rise now that the holidays have passed.
He also said that after the end of the weekend 287,000 doses of the COVID vaccine have been shipped to providers in Massachusetts so far and 116,771 doses have been administered.
Both Governor Baker and Lt. Governor Kayrn Polito credit all the healthcare workers during the pandemic.
“To you doctor and to your entire team, I just want to say on behalf of all the people in Massachusetts how much we appreciate what all you have been up to for almost a year now,” said Baker.
Hospitals are continuing to vaccinate their COVID-facing staff and so far 74 out of the 76 hospitals here in Massachusetts have been vaccinating their employees. Governor Baker said over 70,000 COVID facing staff have been vaccinated so far.
The state also started vaccinating long term care residents and staff last week at about 50 sites that are being administered by CVS and Walgreens. This week long term vaccinations are up to 130 scheduled sites this week.
First responders (fire, police, and EMT’s) will begin their vaccinations on Monday, January 11.
According to Baystate Health President and CEO Mark Keroack, the health system has invited 12,252 of their employees to receive the vaccine and so far 6,162 Baystate employees have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. Of those vaccines, 2,300 are Pfizer and 3,860 are Moderna. There have also been 1,474 people who have declined to receive the vaccine and Keroack believes over 60 percent of those are of the “soft variety” meaning those people would like to wait and see what happens with their friends or colleagues first before being vaccinated themselves.
Keroack said in the city of Springfield’s weekly news conference that most people are experiencing sore arms from the vaccine but about 120 have experienced flu-like symptoms and were tested for COVID-19 and 10 of those people tested positive. He also added that just a handful of people have experienced allergic reactions and are being treated.
As of Monday, Baystate Health has 159 hospitalized patients with COVID-19, 12 of whom are in the ICU.