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Top White House official gives Mass., other New England states, a shout-out on vaccinations

A dose of vaccine being prepared at the Harvard Street Neighborhood Health Center vaccine clinic at the Prince Hall Grand Lodge in Dorchester this week.Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff

A top White House official on Friday gave Massachusetts and several other New England states a shout-out for their level of coronavirus vaccinations, tweeting “Well done. Let’s all get there.”

Andy Slavitt, a White House pandemic adviser, listed Massachusetts and fellow New England states Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Connecticut, as well as New Jersey, New Mexico, and Hawaii, as states where more than 60 percent of adults had received at least a first shot.

He noted that New Hampshire’s rate was more than 70 percent.

“All of them have turned the corner on the number of cases & hospitalizations,” he said.


His comments came as encouraging signs have recently emerged in coronavirus data released by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health.

The state on Thursday reported that 3,216,855 first shots of the two-shot vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer have been administered so far. The state also reported that 1,976,054 second shots of those vaccines have been administered, as well as 204,143 shots of the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

During a later briefing Friday, Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the CDC, briefly addressed the ongoing pause on administering the J&J shot, as officials review reports of a handful of recipients getting a rare blood clotting condition. Roughly 7 million people have gotten the vaccine nationwide.

The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, or ACIP, which advises the CDC, is slated to take up the matter at a public hearing Friday.

“I’m not going to get ahead of the ACIP, we’ve been doing a lot of work over the last week to identify any additional cases, and to conduct some risk-benefit analysis,” Walensky said in response to a question about the pause. “And part of that risk-benefit analysis is who would prefer or wouldn’t otherwise have access to two-dose vaccines, and really wants the J&J vaccine, or would otherwise not get it?”


She said that risk-benefit analysis would be presented to the ACIP at Friday’s hearing.

“I think the FDA and I both feel strongly, and the CDC feels strongly, that we need to act swiftly after that analysis,” Walensky said. “But I do think that there’s plenty of people who are interested in the J&J vaccine, if just for convenience, as well as for a single-dose option.”

Material from Bloomberg was used in this report. Travis Andersen of the Globe Staff contributed.

Martin Finucane can be reached at martin.finucane@globe.com.