BOSTON (CBS) – Governor Charlie Baker said there are now more than 500 locations in Massachusetts that will have Pfizer’s COVID-19 pediatric vaccines, now that children ages 5-to-11 are eligible for it.
Baker revealed the state’s plan at a news conference Thursday morning with Acting Public Health Commissioner Margret Cooke at Boston Children’s Hospital.
The first shots for kids became available Wednesday but many parents struggled to get appointments. About half a million children in Massachusetts are now eligible to get the two-shot pediatric dose but some parents told WBZ-TV they couldn’t find appointments nearby.
Baker said adding hundreds of locations like pediatricians offices, pharmacies and community health centers will solve that problem because every child now lives within 30 minutes of a vaccine clinic.
Hundreds of additional sites started appearing online Thursday, including the Museum of Science in Boston and the EcoTarium in Worcester, as Mass.Gov and the VaxFinder tool were updated as more providers joined.
CVS and Walgreens are also booking online appointments for this weekend and beyond.
“If somebody wants to get an appointment today, they should be able to do that. If they can’t get an appointment for today, they can certainly get one for tomorrow or the day after,” Baker said. “But they should always call their pediatrician to start, and we’ve said that also from the beginning.”
“We don’t anticipate any supply issues,” the governor said.
“Vaccinating children will reduce the toll of this virus on everyone,” Dr. Kevin Churchwell, CEO of Boston Children’s Hospital, told reporters.
Anyone who can’t use VaxFinder, or has difficulty accessing the internet, can call 2-1-1 to speak to someone at the COVID-19 Vaccine Resource Line. It’s open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on weekends. It’s available in English and Spanish and there are translators available for about 100 other languages.