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Mass. To Receive Significantly Less Johnson & Johnson COVID Vaccine Doses Next Week

BOSTON (CBS) -  Mass and community-based vaccination sites were busy across that state this weekend. Outside a church in East Boston, the line stretched around the corner as hundreds lined up to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

"It means a lot because now that I can go to school and I could like live a normal life now. So yeah, I am excited to get it," said Mariana Duberge said who got a shot on Saturday.

But state and health officials say the availability of the Johnson & Johnson COVID vaccine may not be as accessible in the days ahead.

The company is dramatically scaling back shipments by 80 percent. There will only be 700,000 doses shipped nationwide next week because of issues with distribution.

"We have more demand than we have capacity. But we are continuing to, through initiatives like this, bring additional capacity into the community so that folks can get vaccinated as soon as possible," said East Boston Neighborhood Health Center Vice President and COO Greg Wilmot.

Health officials say Massachusetts is only earmarked to get just over 12,000 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine next week, which is a huge drop from previous weeks.

"A week from this Monday, everyone's going to be eligible in Massachusetts. The federal government is doing their best to increase the availability of the vaccine, the manufacturing capacity," said MassCon Medical President John Chin. "The biggest problem is how do we get it in people's arms?"

On Saturday, the Brockton neighborhood health center was opened up to all residents to receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, regardless of eligibility. Mark Doricsca said he was happy to get his, knowing there could be a shortage next week.

"I'm grateful to be able to take it."

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