Online appointment issues persist as state’s dosage supply remains limited

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – COVID-19 vaccine appointments continue to be very hard to find on the state’s website.

On Thursday, the state made 50,000 new appointments available at mass vaccination sites, but all of them were gone within hours.

People who have been eligible for the vaccine, but have not yet booked an appointment, have been searching for vaccine locations on the state’s website a lot lately. From what we’ve noticed, most sites in western Massachusetts including, the Eastfield Mall, remain completely booked.

One Springfield woman shared her frustrating experience, of coming close to securing an appointment Thursday morning after waiting in the queue for three hours.

“At 9:03 a.m., I could get in okay, there was one appointment left at Eastfield, I clicked it, and I was halfway through my thing, and then it said there were no appointments available,” said Janis Pastuszak of Springfield.

“If she could get the vaccine that would be terrific,” said Michael Buscemi of Springfield. “My mother hasn’t left the house in a year. A year and a month. Last year she went in has been in the house and hasn’t gone out except two times.”

Massachusetts’ weekly allotted doses were expected to jump from 110 to 139,000, but with a population of approximately 7 million in Massachusetts, that’s just not enough.

“Logistically, it’s very complicated,” said Dr. Daniel Skiest, Infectious Diseases Specialist for Baystate Health. “When you think about rolling out a vaccine to hundreds of millions of people and with states doing their own things.”

Dr. Daniel Skiest said this is why the country needs another vaccine.

“Johnsons Johnson’s will be approved for emergency use any day now, but we do need more vaccines out there, the quicker we get them out there, the quicker we get to herd immunity, and have less virus circulating,” said Dr. Daniel Skiest.

22News also wanted to find out how many doses states with similar populations were getting. Tennessee is right behind Massachusetts with its population count and has received far less doses, with 101,000 being the last reported.

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