Fight Club: What it Takes to Book a Vaccine in Massachusetts

Stacey Deeds searches for a vaccine appointment.
Stacey Deeds searches for a vaccine appointment.
March 2, 2021 by Ally Donnelly

People are crowdsourcing tips on Facebook. They're setting alarms to wake up in the middle of the night and refresh their browser. They've set up multiple computers and phones to be ready to pounce when the time comes. So goes the hunt to book vaccine appointments for people aged 65 and older in Massachusetts.

"You would get halfway through the process of putting information in," said Stacey Deeds, trying to book appointments for her elderly mother, aunt and caregiver. "And then all of a sudden, the slot that you had chosen was gone. So you get kicked back out. You start again, kicked back out, start again."

In this week's episode of The Hingham 'Cast, we talk with residents about their frustration and anger that the state website set up to handle booking vaccination appointments–can't handle it.

Holly & Joseph Andrus

Holly Andrus was hunting for appointments for herself and her husband, both 65 or older.

"It seems to me that with MIT and all of our hospitals and universities and all our tech people that we ought to be able to do better than we're doing. I don't want to take somebody else's appointment who needs it more than I do, but I'd like to know that I will get vaccinated at some point."

We asked people who'd been lucky enough to score a golden ticket how they did it and what we should try when searching appointments for ourselves or loved ones (hint: set an alarm before the sun and make sure you know how to refresh your browser).

Senator Patrick O'Connor

We also talk with Republican state Senator Patrick O'Connor who sits on the Joint Committee on COVID-19 and Emergency Preparedness and Management.

The committee held its first oversight hearing last week and expects to bring Governor Charlie Baker and his staff back to explain how they are making it better for seniors and for the next round of people who will be eligible for vaccinations soon.

We also talk vaccinations for teachers and why local health officials should be brought back to the table to get the most shots in arms in Hingham and beyond.

You can hear the full episode by subscribing to The Hingham Cast via the following link:

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