BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts was one of several states to receive a shout-out from the White House for its efforts to vaccinate as much of the adult population as possible.
White House coronavirus adviser Andy Slavitt tweeted out Friday morning that eight states have now vaccinated more than 60% of adults with a first shot.
Besides Massachusetts, Slavitt pointed to Connecticut, New Mexico, Maine, New Jersey, Vermont and Hawaii. New Hampshire has crossed the 70% threshold according to Slavitt.
“All of them have turned the corner on the number of cases & hospitalizations. Well done. Let’s all get there,” Slavitt tweeted.
More than 3.2 million Massachusetts residents have received first doses and about 2.2 million people have been fully immunized.
LT. GOVERNOR'S VACCINE
Lt. Gov. Karyn Spilka has received her first COVID-19 vaccine shot.
The Republican received the shot Friday at Worcester State University.
Spilka, 54, became eligible after the state opened up vaccine eligibility on Monday to anyone 16 or over in Massachusetts.
Gov. Charlie Baker, who is 64, received his first dose of the vaccine earlier this month after the state opened vaccine eligibility to residents 55 and older.
Baker has set a target of immunizing 4.1 million residents by the Fourth of July. The state is already more than halfway to that goal.
Baker has also hinted that changes could be coming later this month to some of the state's mandates, although he said now isn't the time for people to let their guard down.
“I expect we’ll have some stuff to say before the end of April,” Baker told reporters Thursday in Pittfield.
Baker made the comment after being asked about proposals to lift some restrictions, particularly on the use of masks in outdoor settings.
Baker said people still need to continue "to follow the rules and the guidance” and get tested for COVID-19, even after they’ve been vaccinated, to help limit the spread of the virus.
Massachusetts health officials reported 13 deaths and more than 1,400 additional cases of COVID-19 Friday.
The state Department of Public Health also said more than 30,000 people in the state are currently estimated to be infected, with nearly 650 of them hospitalized.
Massachusetts is averaging about 1,600 new COVID-19 cases daily, down from about 2,000 two weeks ago, according to data from Johns Hopkins. The state's death toll from the virus is 17,181.