BOSTON (AP) — After an initial surge in vaccinations against COVID-19, the number of people receiving the shots in Massachusetts has been declining for nine days.
The Boston Globe reports the state’s day for peak inoculations came April 22, three days after all adults became eligible for the shots on April 19.
“We’re definitely seeing a decline in the past week or so,” said Dr. Alastair Bell, of Boston Medical Center, where the number of first doses at its South End hospital and five satellite sites in Boston neighborhoods dipped to about 800 a day last week from about 1,500 the previous week.
Vaccine providers say they are pivoting to a new phase where outreach will become the top priority, with more mobile sites popping up in hard-to-reach communities.
“Now it’s a ground game,” said Aaron Michelucci, senior director of pharmacy services at Baystate Health in Springfield, who oversees Holyoke and Greenfield sites. “You’ve gotten the easy people. Now you have to get after the people without technology, the people who don’t have transportation.”
More than 2.5 million Massachusetts residents have been fully vaccinated, including about 75% of residents over 65. But 28% of 16- and 17-year-olds have gotten at least one shot.
Gov. Charlie Baker says his goal remains on track to fully vaccinate about 4.1 million residents, more than 70% of the state’s adult population, by July 4.
“We have to continue to encourage (vaccinations) through every channel that’s available to us,” he said.
Connecticut residents were breathing a sigh of relief over the weekend as some restrictions that were put in place a year ago are being eased.
As of Saturday, bars that don’t serve food can open on an outdoor-only basis, and an eight-person limit per table for outdoor seating has been lifted. The limit remains in effect for indoor dining.
Face masks are still required indoors, though NBC Connecticut reports Gov. Ned Lamont is expected to announce whether that will shift to a recommendation when there’s a wider easing of restrictions later this month.
The rollback, scheduled to go into effect May 19, is contingent on low rates of infection and increasing vaccination rates.
The Maine Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that only 1 in 5 people below the age of 40 are vaccinated.
“I’m here to tell you that you should get the shot,” said CDC Director Dr. Nirav Shah. “Sadly, we’ve talked about just in the past week how two people in their 20′s in Maine died from COVID-19.”
FEMA Media Relations Specialist Patrick Boland says they have seen a wide range of ages take advantage of the traveling clinic. The clinic is set up this weekend at the Fryeburg fairgrounds where it seeks to attract more young people who otherwise would not have made the trip or felt motivated to go to a nearby clinic.
“The rural communities (are) going to suffer from this just like everyone else, so we don’t want anyone else to have to go through this terrible disease,” Boland said.
New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu says state health officials, and private agencies have begun a number of initiatives to encourage the state's residents to get vaccinated.
New Hampshire officials warn the state is starting to see the number of fully vaccinated residents slow down.
WMUR-TV reports many people who are unvaccinated and eligible to receive one have not signed up for an appointment.
Data from the Department of Health and Human Services show more than 790,000 New Hampshire residents have received their first dose, about 60% of the state’s population while more than 351,000 of those people are fully vaccinated, or about 26% of the population.
The state says a series of public service announcements and electronic billboards are encouraging people who may be hesitant to get vaccinated.
Experts say it is important for everyone to get vaccinated.
“They may not become ill. They may be a transmitter and simply part of an asymptomatic transmission,” said Martha Wassell, director of Infection Prevention at Wentworth-Douglass Hospital. “That could in turn spread this to someone who either was vaccinated, and it didn’t work well, or for whatever medical reason could not be vaccinated.”
On Sunday the Vermont Department of Health reported 83 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19, bringing the statewide total since the pandemic began to more than 23,120.
There were 17 people hospitalized, including four in intensive care. There have been a total of 247 fatalities.
The Associated Press is using data collected by Johns Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering to measure outbreak caseloads and deaths across the United States.
The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 129.14 new cases per day on April 16 to 79.00 new cases per day on April 30.
The seven-day rolling average of daily deaths in Vermont did not increase over the past two weeks, going from 1.57 deaths per day on April 16 to 0.43 deaths per day on April 30.