The state of Massachusetts is receiving 170,000 first doses of COVID-19 vaccine this week, including 8,000 unexpected doses of the single shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
The state had previously been told it wouldn't be receiving any more Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses until the end of March, a spokesperson for the Massachusetts COVID-19 Command Center said.
The state allocations do not include the federal pharmacy program or other federal doses. The total number of vaccines represents a modest increase over recent weeks.
As of Monday, 914,927 people were fully vaccinated, according to the Department of Public Health's latest COVID-19 Vaccine Data report. But officials are still working to fight the spread of the virus amid a growing number of reported cases of various strains.
Gov. Charlie Baker said Friday that he thinks President Joe Biden's objective of having all adults eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine by May 1 and allowing people from different households to gather by July 4 is "absolutely doable" as long as the vaccine supply ramps up over the coming month.
"No matter how you do the math, we're one of the top vaccinators as a state in the country," he said. "Within a matter of days, every dose we get from the feds ends up in somebody's arms. If the feds can actually deliver on the vaccine supply issue that we've all been talking about -- the message we keep getting is we're just a couple weeks away -- I think getting to the president's objective is absolutely doable. But it's going to require a significant increase in the available supply to be able to deliver that kind of volume over a reasonably short period of time."
In his first primetime address to the nation on Thursday night, Biden announced that he is directing states to make all adults, ages 18 and up, eligible for the coronavirus vaccines by May 1. He also set a goal for Americans to be able to gather in person with their friends and loved ones in small groups to celebrate the Fourth of July.
"Obviously, the folks in D.C. know a lot more about what's in the pipeline than we do," Baker said Friday. "They have said several times now there will be a significant increase in Pfizer, Moderna and J&J by the end of March. If they mean significant, and that translates to significant increases in the early part of April, that could make a big difference."
"Don't underestimate the power of the J&J vaccine to change the game because it's a one dose," he added.
Right now, the state is administering about 250,000 doses of vaccine per week. If all of those were one-dose vaccines, Baker said it would dramatically increase how quickly people can be vaccinated.
A new online tool went live last week, changing the sign-up process for appointments at the state's seven mass vaccination sites. All appointments will now be booked through the new preregistration site and are first-come, first-serve for those eligible.