BOSTON (CBS) – Massachusetts is among the states with the highest vaccination rates in the country, according to Governor Charlie Baker. And those trying to get appointments say it’s much easier than it was just a couple of months ago.
“It was amazing, I became eligible Monday morning,” said Max Murray outside the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, a mass vaccination site.READ MORE: 'Hi Ma': President Joe Biden Calls Marty Walsh's Mom For Mother's Day
“I did preregistration, they sent me information about when slots were available to get a vaccine,” said Naomi Smith.
It was a different story in mid-February when the state’s website crashed. Now it is easier to find slots at mass vaccination sites, health centers and pharmacies.
As the state this week opened up eligibility to every resident 16 and over, Rodrigo Martinez with CIC Health that’s running three mass vaccination sites, believes the demand is being met. “I think we’re at the point where supply and demand is pretty much perfectly balanced,” said Martinez.
Although at his daily briefing Governor Baker reiterated that the state has the capacity to do even more if the doses are increased. “We could do two or three times as many doses here in the Commonwealth on a daily basis, as we actually have supply for,” Baker said. “I have expressed to the federal government that if they have states that are are turning away doses, we’d be perfectly happy to take them off their hands.”READ MORE: Increased Capacity Coming To The TD Garden, But Some Fans Don't Miss The Crowds
Still, Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital believes the conversation has now shifted from vaccine availability to vaccine access. He’s concerned the pace is still lagging in high risk communities.
“People who don’t have time to make an appointment, can’t leave work to get vaccinated, or they can’t afford to take time off if there are side effects and they need to be home for a day or two,” he said.
Dr. Kuritzkes believes more needs to be done to go out to people where they live and work. “We need to ensure everybody who needs vaccine and wants one can get one,” Kuritzkes said.
He says it’s a different issue from vaccine hesitancy which Governor Baker says is at a low rate in the state according to the data.
Still, Rodrigo Martinez of CIC Health believes it remains a focus. “Now we want you to talk to family and neighbors, talk about the importance of getting vaccinated. That’s where we are,” said Martinez.MORE NEWS: Stimulus Check Latest: Is A Fourth Relief Payment Coming?
To find out more about COVID vaccinations in Massachusetts and where you can get one visit mass.gov/covid-19-vaccine.