Massachusetts’ vaccine process stalls as neighboring states push forward

Connecticut

(WWLP) – Our neighboring state of Connecticut is moving right along in its vaccination process. This week, residents 65 and older are able to sign-up for their vaccine appointments.

According to Governor Charlie Baker, Massachusetts is not ready to move to the next step. As we’ve seen from the lines at our local vaccination site, there are still quite a few residents who are 75 and older that need their shots.

People are frustrated at the Commonwealth’s vaccination pace. From confusing, online-only sign-ups to extremely long lines in cold, snowy weather, the process has been anything but smooth.

Doreen Malouin of West Springfield told 22News, “They told me you can come in at 11:30 to get dropped off, but now they are saying I have to go all the way down there for the line. My husband can’t walk all the way down there.”

Now, those 65 and older say it’s time for their fair share as well. Those in neighboring Connecticut will be able to get vaccinated as soon as next week, but Massachusetts residents will still have to wait.

Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont said 80 percent of residents 75 and older have received the vaccine there, but in Massachusetts, Gov. Baker says we still have a ways to go.

He said, “We probably vaccinated somewhere in the 200,000 neighborhood in the last 5 or 6 days. That’s a big number, but I think we’ll probably want to leave it open for a little while longer to see if some more 75-year-old folks sign up.”

The next group eligible for the vaccine in Massachusetts includes those 65 and older and those with two or more pre-existing conditions that put them at greater risk of the virus. Some of those conditions include cancer, COPD, diabetes, and heart disease.

It’s still not clear when exactly the next phase will begin. The state’s website estimates sometime between now and March.

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