BOSTON (WPRI) — Massachusetts’ first doses of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine were administered Thursday but appointments at the state’s mass vaccination sites remained hard to come by.
Tufts Medical Center received 2,000 doses of the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine Tuesday.
Mary Chin was the first to receive the new shot at Tufts on Thursday.
“Please understand that it is safe,” Chin said.
This is the first single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, which was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on Saturday. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots for full immunization.
Baker said the demand for vaccines far outweighs the supply, with the state receiving about 150,000 first doses a week, which he says is not expected to change over the course of the rest of the month.
“That means everybody who is eligible will be trying to secure an appointment with a relatively small amount of available vaccines, and while we know that creates anxiety, I just want to continue to urge all of us to recognize and understand that we need to be patient here,” he said.
This shortage is still apparent in the state, just one week after the state launched its COVID-19 Vaccine Finder digital waiting room.
Mass.gov tweeted Thursday that all appointments for next week at the state’s mass vaccination sites have been booked and that it may take about a month for eligible residents to secure an appointment.
This is because the number of new appointments decreased this week from 50,000 last week to 12,000 released Thursday.
Baker said this decrease is due to the number of second doses being administered next week.
Baker announced Thursday that the mass vaccination site at Fenway Park will move to Hynes Convention Center. This follows his announcement last week that professional sports would be able to bring back fans at a 12% capacity limit beginning March 22.
The governor said the Hynes Convention Center clinic will open on March 18, while Fenway Park will stay open for vaccinations until March 27.
The Red Sox are scheduled to host the Orioles for Opening Day on April 1.
“All individuals that are vaccinated at Fenway Park and have a second appointment scheduled will be able to receive their second dose at the Hynes,” Baker explained.
The governor said Hynes will be able to vaccinate the same amount of patients as Fenway – roughly 1,500 a day – and if the supply increases, it will have the capability to scale up to more than 5,000 doses per day.
More than 25,000 doses have been administered at Fenway Park, according to Baker, and by the end of the month, the total is expected to surpass 55,000.