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How To Get An Appointment When COVID Vaccines Open For Mass. Residents 16+

BOSTON (CBS) - On Monday, everyone over the age of 16 in Massachusetts will be eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine, an additional 1.7 million people.

Officials caution that it could take several weeks to secure an appointment and are asking people to be patient.

"There's a little bit of uncertainty in the supply now, especially with the pause of Johnson and Johnson," said Dr. Paul Biddinger, chief of emergency preparedness at Mass General Brigham and chair of the state's vaccine advisory group. "But given what's coming to the state with Pfizer and Moderna, I think that likely it should be a matter of multiple weeks, at least to secure the appointment."

Diana Rastegayeva, the leader of a volunteer group called MA Covid Vaccination Help, says there are a few tips and tricks to snatching a coveted vaccine appointment earlier rather than later.

The first trick is to pre-register for an appointment at one of the state's seven mass vaccination sites and regional collaboratives. But remember, there are more than 500 other sites from hospitals to pharmacies.

"Like Walgreens which releases appointments every day and requires you to have an account with them," Rastegayeva said.

Rastegayeva suggests scoping out which locations you are willing to drive to, then getting your information in order before appointments become available.

She also recommends signing up for text alerts and Twitter alerts. Just make sure that notifications on your phone are turned on.

"I would strongly suggest going to and signing up for alerts there. That will text you if there's a number of vaccine appointments available. Or following @vaccinetime on Twitter," she said.

For those willing to make a drive or who live on the New Hampshire border, the Granite State is also lifting its eligibility requirement on Monday so Massachusetts residents can get their shots there.

Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to pre-register or book an appointment.

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