Failure of State Vaccination Website Brings Renewed Calls for Changes, Pre-Registration System

(File photograph.)

The failure of the state’s vaccine appointment website yesterday brought renewed criticism of Massachusetts’ vaccine rollout.

Even Gov. Charlie Baker told “Boston Public Radio,” “My hair’s on fire about the whole thing. I can’t even begin to tell you how pissed off I am,” when asked about the website debacle just after noon. He later added, “This is not satisfactory...it’s awful. It’s going to get fixed and I’m going to work very hard to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

Sen. Diana DiZoglio this week filed a bill, calling for a COVID-19 vaccination pre-registration system. The state’s federal delegation followed suit, expressing concerns over distribution problems and lack of a pre-registration system similar to those used in Florida, New Jersey and West Virginia.

DiZoglio said, “Our federal delegation led by Congresswoman (Katherine ) Clark has hit the nail on the head…A centralized, accessible system would provide our communities the ability to pre-register for COVID-19 vaccinations, confirm eligibility details and receive notification when an appointment becomes available at a convenient location.”

The state senator plans an online conference today, asking Baker to make improvements. DiZoglio plans to press her case with directors from area Councils on Aging.

Heavy traffic torpedoed the state’s vaccination scheduling website yesterday as more than 70,000 appointments were to be made available at 8 a.m. to the seniors and people with multiple health complications who newly qualified for a vaccine. The state said it had not added those appointments to the system by the time it failed. The website was back up at about 10 a.m., though some people reported persistent troubles with it.

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