Eligible residents in phase two get first dose of COVID-19 vaccine Monday

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After last week’s rocky appointment booking process, residents 65 and older got their first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday.

Many people who became eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine last week were finally able to get their doses. People ages 65 to 74, those with at least two of the state’s select certain medical conditions, and staff and residents of senior affordable housing became eligible.

“There was a million people that were now eligible and only 70,000 appointments for the state. So you know you had a less than 10% chance of getting an appointment the first week. So I was pretty happy,” Wilbraham resident, Marc Leonard, who was able to get an appointment told 22News.

Leonard was able to work around the state’s vaxfinder.mass.gov website that crashed last week and prevented some from booking appointments. Even then he was lucky to get a spot.

“Luckily I had gone to curative.com rather than vaxfinder.mass.gov and that eliminated the struggle a little bit. When I first got on there, there were 593 appointments for Monday and by the time I finished the questionnaire, like two minutes later, every appointment was taken up,” Leonard continued.

According to the most recent state data, more than 1.6 million vaccine doses have been shipped to the state. More than a million of those have gone to people getting their first dose. Nearly 84% of the total doses shipped have been administered as either first or second doses.

The state releases thousands of new appointments for vaccine sites every Thursday at 8:00 A.M. Governor Baker says it may take weeks for people to get appointments due to high demand and limited supply.

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