BOSTON (CBS) – Twelve thousand COVID-19 vaccination appointments were snatched up just as soon as they went online Thursday morning. Governor Charlie Baker said it is because so many, 45,000, had already been reserved for second doses.
He toured a vaccination site at a Senior Center in Lawrence, where outreach workers say competing for appointments online…often isn't an option. "Not everybody's reading on internet and making appointments, so I think by coming to people we are reducing one of the biggest barriers just making appointments," said Amy Bositis.
The governor said the biggest barrier is a lack of vaccine from the federal government. "I think it's unfair that I can't currently vaccinate everyone in Massachusetts who wants to get vaccinated," Baker said.
Supply is so low, the morning started with a tweet from state officials. "Due to limited federal supply and a large number of previously scheduled second-dose appointments, first dose appointments are no longer available today for Fenway Park, Gillette Stadium, or Reggie Lewis Center."
"I have a diagnosis of low-grade Cancer," said 71-year-old Axel Kehlenbeck from his home in Northborough, where he has had multiple devices open, waiting in digital waiting rooms for days. He still hasn't been able to secure an appointment. He says the state's website is full of frustrating flaws. "The real frustration is the disconnect between the sites, that one site will show you stuff's available. You go there nothing's available."
"Until there's more vaccine we're going to be playing this waiting game," said Governor Baker. He says more than 70% of the appointments at Fenway and Gillette next week are for second doses. Also, next week, some 400,000 Massachusetts educators are set to join what has become an online traffic jam.
Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you're eligible and to book an appointment.
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