Gov. Baker is ‘Enthusiastic Supporter’ of COVID-19 Booster, But Said State Doesn’t Have Details

Lawrence General Hospital RN Delana Asaro pre-draws doses, in a separate room, to save time at the pods. Pool file photograph by Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff.)

The federal government plans to begin making COVID-19 booster shots available next month to adults who have already received both doses of a Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

Gov. Charlie Baker said plans for a booster program 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 when I got home last night and saw the news,” Baker said during a WGBH radio interview. “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 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.”

“I think it's really important that we do it, especially based on some of the studies that have come out of other countries that are farther ahead of us with respect to vaccines,” he said.

During a White House COVID-19 Response Team briefing Wednesday, top health officials said that while the three vaccines used in the United States are highly effective at reducing risks of severe disease, hospitalization and death from the coronavirus, data show that levels of protection against infection decrease over time. Booster shots, they said, extend the protection.

The Biden administration’s plan calls for the booster program to begin the week of Sept. 20, pending an independent evaluation by the Food and Drug Administration and dose recommendations from a Centers for Disease Control advisory panel.

Fully vaccinated adults age 18 and up would become 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,” Surgeon General Vivek Murthy said. “This includes our most vulnerable populations, like our health care providers, nursing home residents and other seniors.”

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