Congresswoman Katherine Clark, the fourth-ranking House Democrat, and several of her Massachusetts colleagues are calling Gov. Charlie Baker to create a centralized COVID-19 vaccine appointment system for eligible state residents.
"Nearly two months after the arrival of the first Pfizer vaccine doses, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, with its prestigious health care infrastructure and wealth of technological innovation, remains at the bottom of every states' national vaccine distribution ranking," read a letter to Baker signed by 10 of 11 members of the state's all-Democratic delegation (Rep. Richard Neal of Springfield was the non-signer).
The criticism by Clark was similar to comments from Beacon Hill lawmakers and others, the Globe reports.
Some lawmakers and special interest groups are lobbying for Baker to rearrange the vaccine priority list, while others have criticized Baker's program which allows a companion of those 75 or older to get vaccinated on the same visit.
New House Speaker Ron Mariano wants teachers to be moved to the "head of the line." Funeral directors are asking they be moved up, as are grocery workers.
Meanwhile 65-plus baby boomers are worried that Baker will listen to those or other groups and alter the plan which currently allows their cohort to go next.
As I noted yesterday, Newton-Wellesley Hospital's vaccine clinic at Tripadvisor is officially on pause after the Baker administration cut off hospitals from the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution network. The Needham-based company had been the first office employer in the state to make its headquarters available, rent free, for vaccinations. The Globe's Jon Chesto has more.
All this comes as CDC data indicates that Massachusetts' vaccine rate is improving (but people of color are still getting vaccinated at lower rates than whites).
The state now ranks tenth in the U.S. for vaccinations per capita.
Speaking of Congresswoman Clark
Finally, a reminder the Clark will be our guest speaker tomorrow at 9 a.m. at the chamber's annual Women in Government Series. (Men, by the way, are encouraged to hear what she has to say too.) See you there!
Original story here.