As federal officials on Wednesday announced plans to make COVID-19 booster shots available to Americans as soon as next month, Gov. Charlie Baker said he was "bummed" to learn the news via media coverage and not directly from the White House.
The official announcement about boosters came during a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing, held the same time as Baker was being interviewed on GBH Radio.
News reports on Tuesday indicated the Biden administration would soon put forward a booster-shot plan for people already vaccinated against the coronavirus. Baker said the topic did not come up in a regular Tuesday call between governors and Biden administration officials "on all things vaccines and all things COVID."
"First time I heard about it was I got home last night and saw the news," Baker said. "So, I have no guidance, alright, even though we spent an hour on the phone yesterday with all of the people who probably knew something about what this is all about, which really bums me out."
Baker, a Republican, described himself as an "enthusiastic supporter of a booster program" and said that once Massachusetts has more information about timing and other details, the state will "move very aggressively to make sure that those who are eligible to get boosters get them."
During Wednesday's briefing, Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said the booster program is planned to start the week of Sept. 20, pending an independent evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration. Fully vaccinated adults would be come eligible eight months after receiving their second doses of a Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
"The plan ensures that people who were fully vaccinated earliest in the vaccination rollout will be eligible for a booster first," he said.