Some Massachusetts hospital leaders and physicians said they disagree with a plan by the administration of Gov. Charlie Baker to halt vaccine distribution to hospitals and primary care offices so they can place the focus on vaccination sites.
But the state’s top health official said hospitals were scheduling more vaccine appointments than the state’s supply of vaccine against COVID-19 could meet.
“We all need to understand that we have a limited supply,” said Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders.
“The demand is great and the supply from the federal government is flat — 108,000 doses a week,” she said. “We want to ensure that we have the supply to meet scheduled appointments.”
Dr. David Rosman, president of the Massachusetts Medical Society, told The Boston Globe he feared the state had chosen “efficiency at the cost of equity.” He said some communities of color are more likely to trust their physicians.
“People have a trusting relationship with their doctor, and when their doctor says, ‘This is safe and as soon as my family is eligible I will get it for them,’ then patients are more willing,” he said.
On Thursday, the state told Massachusetts hospitals to stop scheduling new vaccine appointments. The state intends to focus on on mass vaccination sites, retail pharmacies and community health centers until more vaccine is available.
Once the next vaccine is authorized, possibly later this month, more vaccine will be available for hospitals.
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