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'It May Take Several Weeks' For Newly Eligible Massachusetts Residents To Book COVID Vaccine Appointment, Baker Says

BOSTON (CBS) -- On Monday, April 19, everyone over the age of 16 in Massachusetts will be allowed to receive a coronavirus vaccine. But it's not going to be easy for those 1.7 million newly eligible individuals to find an appointment right away, Gov. Charlie Baker warned Wednesday.

"People who will become newly eligible on Monday, you should expect it may take several weeks to book an appointment," Baker said at a news conference.

Monday is also the day President Joe Biden said all American adults should become eligible for a COVID vaccine. Currently, anyone in the state 55 years and older and those with one or more qualifying medical conditions can sign up for an appointment.

"April 19 is right around the corner, and at that point in time all individuals over the age of 16 will be eligible for a vaccine here in Massachusetts," Baker said. "This is a significant milestone in our mission to vaccinate eligible residents and bring this pandemic to a close."

Baker was asked if he's worried the state's vaccine website becoming overwhelmed again with so many more people becoming eligible.

"Our tech team continues to work hard to improve our website and user experience, and is prepared for the influx of traffic," he said.

It was also announced that April 19-25 would be "Red Sox Week" at the Hynes Convention Center mass vaccination site. It's an initiative "designed to increase vaccine access for populations that are disproportionately affected by COVID-19."

Twenty thousand first dose appointments there will be reserved for residents living in communities hit hardest by the pandemic. There will be bilingual and Spanish-speaking staff and volunteers along with Red Sox trophies on display, visits with Wally the Green Monster and a raffle to win Sox tickets.

"Our goal is to encourage more people to come to Boston with family and neighbors to get vaccinated together, and to also create an experience in Spanish from beginning to end," Baker said.

Anyone with a second-dose scheduled at the Hynes next week will still have their appointment honored.

So far, Massachusetts has administered more than 4.6 million COVID vaccine doses.

To find out more about COVID vaccinations in Massachusetts and where you can get one visit


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