SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Governor Charlie Baker gave much-needed clarity to everyone across the Commonwealth on Wednesday, announcing the remaining eligibility timelines for a COVID-19 vaccine.
Western Mass News spoke to people in the community still trying to book an appointment for the shot about how this new timeline could impact people who have been waiting for their turn for weeks.
"We all know that the anxiety created by this process can be stressful for many people, and we hope that this clarity will help everybody plan ahead and know what to expect," Baker said.
SPRINGFIELD, MA (WGGB/WSHM) -- Governor Charlie Baker did something Wednesday that residents…
The governor outlined when remaining Massachusetts residents are eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine on Wednesday. Starting Monday, those 60 and up and some essential workers can sign up for a shot. On April 5, people 55 and older are eligible, and then on April 19, people 16 to 54 get the green light.
"I think it’s a very welcome announcement from the governor that everyone can be eligible by mid-April," Western New England University Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Immunology Clinton Mathias said.
Many viewers have been reaching out to Western Mass News, starting to wonder how these many eligible people can book a shot in just a matter of weeks. Mathias said the state likely has many plans in the works behind the scenes.
"I think as long as they have a well-prepared plan, make sure that there are enough people to give them vaccinations, ensure social distancing while people are standing in lines, and things like that, I think it should work out fine," he added.
Meanwhile, people looking for appointments can use the state’s pre-registration system, many viewers are still waiting for email updates from the site, but Peter Skerritt of Ware said his vaccine appointment didn't go as planned.
"I got it this morning. As soon as I got it, it was before I went to work, so soon as I got it, I use the code and the hyperlink the button and enter the code, and it said the code is not valid to enter a valid code," he explained.
He said he tried another computer and phone, but his code would not work.
"I don’t like to give up on stuff, so I go back to it, " he explained. "If I get frustrated, I figured trying one more time isn’t going to hurt."
Eight hours later, he said his code finally worked, and he was able to book an appointment at the Eastfield Mall. He told Western Mass News he’s lucky his problem solved itself on its own.
"If I still ran into the problem. It’s not easy to find who to contact," he added.
Mathias told us it's unclear how long it will take for people to book appointments once basically everyone becomes eligible for a shot. But he's hoping the Johnson & Johnson one-dose vaccine will speed things up.