FEMA's mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston is ramping up its vaccine supply beginning Wednesday in a bid to increase vaccinations in the Bay State.
The Hynes Convention Center is one of 21 federally backed vaccination sites across the nation. For the next eight weeks, the site will administer 6,000 more doses daily than the 1,000 that it has currently been offering.
According to CIC Health, 4,000 vaccine doses will be administered Wednesday and Thursday, 6,000 on Friday and Saturday and 7,000 by next week.
FEMA Director Robert Fenton said the plan is to support Hynes with six weeks of Pfizer doses followed by two weeks of Johnson & Johnson vaccine. The agency will also assist with a mobile vaccination program intended for communities hardest hit by the coronavirus.
Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on Tuesday implored people in Massachusetts and beyond to wear masks and practice social distancing to prevent a possible new wave of the coronavirus pandemic.
During a tour of the FEMA mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center, Walensky doubled down on her remarks a day earlier that she felt "impending doom" over a possible fourth surge in coronavirus cases as health experts deem Massachusetts among the "areas of greatest concern."
"We are just asking you to hang on just a little bit longer," she said. "Wear your masks, continue to distance, and do the things that keep you safe so that we don't have to see sickness, or hospitalization with COVID-19 in anyone who was supposed to get their vaccine the following week."
Walensky said the country is currently seeing cases rise by some 61,000 each day, a 13% increase from last week at the same time.
Asked if Massachusetts should be doing anything differently, Walensky said she wouldn't comment on individual states but was pleased to see everyone at Hynes wearing a mask.
She said she believes that all states should have a mask order in place, and in those that do not, people should still wear masks. Massachusetts' mask order remains in effect.
Walensky, formerly an infectious diseases expert at Massachusetts General Hospital, said data shows that two doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, and a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, are effective against variants of the virus now circulating.
But she said the arrival of more variants increase the risk of new mutations forming that could reduce the overall effectiveness of the vaccines.
Acknowledging that COVID-19 infections are again on the rise in Massachusetts, Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday warned against letting a "false sense of security" settle in as vaccine distribution ramps up and federal officials caution states not to relax pandemic restrictions.
"COVID is still a highly contagious virus with all sorts of new variants," Baker said.