By Staff

NATICK (CBS) – Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said the state expects its website experience will be “significantly better” on Thursday as about 50,000 new appointments are made available.

The vaccine website crashed last week when 1 million residents 65 years old and older and those with two medical conditions became eligible to make appointments on February 18.

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Baker made the remarks at a press conference following a tour of the new mass vaccination site that opened Monday at the Natick Mall.

With a crush of users attempting to secure vaccine appointments when the new group of residents became eligible on Thursday, the site left people staring at an error message. By Friday, the website was back up and running throughout the day.

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“A lot of the work that’s been done over the past week has been designed specifically to make sure that the website can handle extraordinary volume over a very short period of time, which is basically what happened last week,” said Baker.

A “digital waiting room” is being put into place as the state aims to prevent outages when a new batch of appointments go live on Thursday.

“We certainly expect the site performance tomorrow to be significantly better,” Baker said. “When you have 50,000 appointments and somewhere around a million people who will be looking for them, we anticipate they’ll go fast.”

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Visit Mass.Gov/CovidVaccine to find out when you’re eligible and to book an appointment. Staff