Baker says National Guard may be sent to pick up vaccine

BOSTON — With winter weather handcuffing other parts of the country and a snowstorm on its way to Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker said Thursday morning he’s considering sending the National Guard to Kentucky and Tennessee to pick up vaccine doses and bring them back to Massachusetts.

Baker said he learned Wednesday night that there may be a “significant delay” in the next shipment of vaccine from the federal government as a result of the weather.

During remarks to the the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Thursday morning, Gov. Charlie Baker said the state is waiting on approval from the federal government to send the National Guard to Kentucky and Tennessee, where the vaccine is being manufactured.

“We may have some real issues with supply delivery this week. We were told it may be a few days late, but we were told last night we may see a significant delay in our next shipments,” Baker said in remarks to the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce.

Baker said he might have more to announce later in the morning, but he said the state was waiting on approval from the federal government to send the National Guard to Kentucky and Tennessee, where the vaccine is being manufactured, to pick up the state’s allocation and ensure it gets delivered.

The governor did not address the crashing of the state’s vaccine appointment website Thursday morning after he opened vaccination appointed to people 65 and older, or residents with two or more underlying health conditions putting them at a greater risk from COVID-19.

The COVID-19 Response Command Center spokesperson sent Boston 25 News the following statement Thursday afternoon:

“The federal government informed the Commonwealth that part of this week’s committed vaccine shipment has been delayed and will not arrive until Monday. Governor Baker reached out directly to federal officials upon learning of the delay to offer any assistance the Commonwealth could provide to avoid this disruption.  The Administration is imploring the federal government to do everything in its power to rectify the delay immediately.

The Command Center is working with providers now to assess how this shipment delay may impact appointments that have already been scheduled.  All residents should go to their scheduled appointments unless they are contacted by the provider they booked with.

The administration is doing everything possible to shift inventory between sites to help providers fulfill existing appointments until the shipment arrives and will provide further updates when more information is available.”


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