By Kristina Rex

BOSTON (CBS) – Despite a rocky rollout with glitches that plagued the state’s signup website, Massachusetts is a nationwide leader in COVID-19 vaccine administration.

According to data from the CDC, Massachusetts ranks first in the country in total vaccine doses administered among states with a population of five million people or more. Nationwide, Massachusetts ranks ninth in overall doses administered.

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“I think it reflects how hard people have been working on vaccination throughout this effort,” Dr. Paul Biddinger, the head of the Massachusetts COVID-19 Vaccine Advisory Panel, told WBZ. “We are blessed with an incredible healthcare system in the Commonwealth.”

Still, Biddinger says there’s work to be done. “We absolutely still need to focus an enormous amount of attention…in our areas hit hardest [by COVID-19].”

As of March 15 in Massachusetts, more than 914,000 people had been fully vaccinated. As people walked out of Fenway Park after receiving their shots, they had two feelings in common: relief and hope.

“I kind of want to cry from relief,” Danielle Annecston of Boston said. “I deal with anxiety so the pandemic has been a lot for me, and so to have my first vaccine is just kind of a breath of fresh air.”

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“I’m very grateful,” Debbie Kurlansky Winer of Newton added.

Each person who walked out the doors after receiving their first or second shot had something they looked forward to once fully vaccinated. “Going to a friend’s house and not having to worry about being outside,” Brenda Crehan of Hudson told WBZ. “Just the things that we take for granted that we won’t take for granted anymore.”

“I want to go home and see my mom and give her a hug,” Danielle Annecston added.

Governor Baker has said the state expects weekly vaccine shipments from the federal government to increase starting in early April.

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

Kristina Rex