Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker is scheduled to join President Joe Biden, virtually, on Tuesday for a bipartisan event touting the state’s progress with the COVID-19 vaccine rollout.
As USA Today first reported Monday afternoon, Baker is among six governors — three Democrats and three Republicans — participating in the event Tuesday with Biden to talk about how to push toward the White House’s goal of at least partially vaccinating 70 percent of American adults by July 4. The governors of Ohio, Utah, Maine, Minnesota, and New Mexico are also slated to join.
“Looking forward to joining @POTUS and a bipartisan group of governors tomorrow to highlight MA’s nation-leading progress in vaccinating our residents,” Baker, a Republican who did not vote for either candidate in the 2020 presidential election, tweeted Monday.
Looking forward to joining @POTUS and a bipartisan group of governors tomorrow to highlight MA’s nation-leading progress in vaccinating our residents. Over 70% of adults and 60% of residents have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine.
— Charlie Baker (@MassGovernor) May 10, 2021
Massachusetts was one of three states that recently received a shoutout from White House coronavirus response adviser Andy Slavitt for already hitting that 70 percent threshold. Federal data suggests that Bay Staters have the lowest vaccine hesitancy rates in the country.
VACCINE UPDATE: 3 states now have 70% of adults with at least one dose.
— Andy Slavitt (@aslavitt46) May 8, 2021
During a press conference Monday afternoon, Baker told reporters that the event Tuesday with Biden is “basically to talk about how to reach and deliver vaccines to either folks that are part of what we would call the hesitant community or folks who were part of communities that are just hard to reach and need more help to get vaccinated.” Baker said he would talk about the state’s partnership with community health centers and mobile clinics to administer vaccines.
“There’s a lot going on in that space that I think made it possible for a lot of people to access vaccines who wouldn’t have been able to otherwise,” he said during a stop at the Manet Community Health Center in Taunton.
Baker says Massachusetts remains on track to hit its goal of vaccinating 4.1 million adult residents by the beginning of June and will have more than 3 million people fully vaccinated this week. In addition to crossing the threshold of vaccinating 70 percent of adults, Massachusetts has also vaccinated 60 percent of its total population.
Baker noted Monday that the vaccine rollout in Massachusetts — once characterized by high-efficiency mass vaccination sites — is entering a new phase focused on mobile clinics and walk-in vaccinations, in order to reach those you are less eager to get a shot.
State officials also confirmed Monday that the mass vaccination site at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough has begun accepting walk-in patients, meaning that all seven of the state’s mass vaccination sites no longer require appointments.
“We still have a lot of work to do to reach the folks who haven’t gotten vaccinated yet — some of whom are obviously part of the wait-and-see community, who are still considering it — but our goal is to reduce as many barriers as we possibly can to provide access and information, and hope that they will join us in getting vaccinated here in the commonwealth,” Baker said.