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Governor Says J & J Pause Will Not Significantly Impact Massachusetts Vaccination Schedule

BOSTON (CBS) - Ever since Johnson & Johnson came on the scene with its easy one-shot vaccine, Governor Charlie Baker has sung its praises.

"I would take the J & J if it had been available. I'd still take it," he said in a news conference Wednesday. But that hasn't been an option since the CDC put the brakes on J & J, sending guidance to states to stop giving it out until the federal government finishes investigating reports of rare blood clotting. "But I think it's important for the feds to do their homework on this because the last thing we want to do is make decisions based on anything less than the best available information."

The governor insists the pause will not significantly hurt the state's plans for Patriots Day, when all residents 16 and older can roll up their sleeves for a shot. He says the federal government is promising to boost its shipment of Pfizer and Moderna to Massachusetts next week by 8%. "Because there's not that much J&J that's currently in the pipeline, I don't think it changes that much. This is a program that's been built primarily on the back of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines."

Since the state still doesn't have enough vaccine supply to meet the demand, the governor said residents can expect it to take a few weeks to secure an appointment.

Also starting Monday, Boston's beloved baseball team partners with the state for Red Sox Week. As many as 20,000 appointments at the Hynes Convention Center's vaccination clinic will be reserved for people from communities disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. It runs from April 19-25.

Red Sox President Sam Kennedy said manager Alex Cora had a message for the governor. "So, I'm going to tell the governor, Alex said whatever he needs to do to spread the word in the community about the importance of vaccination, he's all in." The Sox mascot will be on hand, along with the team's trophies and raffles for game tickets.

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