Mass vaccination site to ramp up doses to 7,000 a day

BOSTON (AP) — Gov. Charlie Baker and CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky toured a mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center on Tuesday as the location prepares to dramatically ramp up the number of vaccines it will begin to administer.

RELATEDBaker: Feds sent more than 380,000 COVID-19 vaccine doses to Mass. this week

Beginning Wednesday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency will begin allocating 6,000 doses a day to the site for the next week or so in addition to the 1,000 daily doses being supplied by the state.

Baker also said that some of the doses will be set aside for use in a new mobile vaccination program in hard-hit areas of Boston, Chelsea and Revere.

Baker cautioned against thinking that the increase in vaccinations means the pandemic is over in Massachusetts, pointing to a recent rise in cases.

RELATEDMass. health officials announce 1,683 new COVID-19 cases, 18 deaths, 7-day positivity rate rises to 2.6 percent

“While we’re making great progress on vaccines, we can’t let this progress give us a false sense of security about the fight against COVID being over. COVID is still a serious, highly contagious virus with all sorts of new variants that are making it even more challenging,” the Republican said.

Massachusetts still has a mask mandate, he added, urging residents not to let their guard down.

Walensky echoed Baker, cautioning that cases are rising across the country.

“We are just asking you to hang on a little bit longer,” said Walensky, who said she has encouraged all governors to keep mask mandates into effect.

RELATEDAs vaccines roll out, Baker warns against letting ‘false sense of security’ settle in

In those states where governors have refused or eased mask mandates, Walensky said she is still encouraging residents to make the decision on their own to use masks.

“We all have to sort of take care and be careful, doing our masks and social distancing as cases rise,” said Walensky, who previously served as chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital.

Click here for more coronavirus coverage.

(Copyright (c) 2021 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)