Massachusetts vaccine finder website crashes as appointments open for 65+, people with health conditions

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SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Massachusetts Vaccine Finder website was down Thursday morning as more people try to book vaccine appointments.

As of 9:45 a.m., the vaccination finder page was back up and operating after being down for almost two hours.

Betty Tegel told 22News she began trying to get an appointment at 7:15 a.m. with no luck.

“So at this given point, I’m in a waiting game like many other people.”

The state also announced that as of 11:17 a.m., all appointments for next week at the mass vaccination sites in Springfield, Danvers, Natick and Dartmouth have been fully booked. Other locations in the state will post more appointments throughout the day.

Briana of Springfield was trying to book an appointment for her mother. When the vaccine finder page went down, she went right to the Eastfield Mall web portal by Curative.

“It took me, I want to say at least 75 attempts to get my mom an appointment, and now, the entire block of appointments for next week are gone,” she explained.

“These vaccines are hoped for, longed for, and then when folks get a door open to their turn, we should as a state have the structure in place so they can get the information they need and sign up,” State Senator Jo Comerford told 22News.

22News has a list of vaccine locations with direct links to sign up for appointments in western Massachusetts.

About 1 million new people who are 65 and older or individuals 16 and older who have two or more medical conditions became eligible for the vaccine for the first time, as well as staff and residents of low-income and senior affordable housing. The following is a list of medical conditions for eligibility:

  • Asthma (moderate-to-severe)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic kidney disease
  • COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease)
  • Down Syndrome
  • Heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies
  • Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
  • Obesity and severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 30 kg/m2 or higher)
  • Pregnancy
  • Sickle cell disease
  • Smoking
  • Type 2 diabetes mellitus

Appointments were expected to open starting at 8 a.m. Thursday. Around 70,000 new appointments are expected to be posted at that time at mass vaccination sites in Springfield, Danvers, Dartmouth, as well as at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium.

According to Mass.gov, the website was experiencing technical difficulties due to high volume and the appointments at the mass vaccination sites have not yet been posted but will be made available soon.

Numerous attempts by 22News to open the website on Thursday morning generated different results. For some, the site opened properly, but for others, a “502 Bad Gateway” or “this application crashed” message appeared on screen.

Just before 9 a.m., the Curative website for the Eastfield Mall vaccine site had about 460 appointments available for Monday. All available spots were booked as of 9:07 a.m.

As of 9:26 a.m. all available appointments at CVS locations in Massachusetts were fully booked.

Viewers have also contacted 22News complaining that they are having trouble accessing the website.

Due to extremely high demand for appointments and limited vaccine supply, it could take more than a month for all eligible individuals to secure an available appointment, unless federal supply significantly increases. Recently, Massachusetts has been receiving about 110,000 first doses per week from the federal government.

Even if the state’s technology was working – which it isn’t – we couldn’t have scheduled one million people,” Comerford explained.

Stop & Shop Pharmacy is booking appointments, however, there is a line ahead of getting into the website.

The Jon Zon Community Center in Greenfield is joining the effort in vaccinating those in Phase 2. A waitlist will be generated for appointments when the vaccine doses are available.

22News will continue to update this story with new information once it becomes available.

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