General public eligible for COVID-19 vaccine

BOSTON — As of Monday, all Massachusetts residents 16 years and older are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. It was a much different Patriots Day near the marathon finish line with the COVID-19 vaccine now available to all adults in the state.

“I pre-registered and I got it in 3-4 days. It was pretty quick. I got it over at the Reggie Convention Center,” said one man.

This is the last step in the state’s phased vaccine rollout plan.

“I am very excited,” said Erica Cross, of Paxton. “I’m a teacher, so I’m excited for the rest of my family and my friends to be vaccinated so we can all start seeing each other again and get a little bit back to normal.”

According to state leaders, 2.55 million new people became eligible with this final step.

“That means things are moving along as they should be and they feel comfortable enough to open things up,” said Rodney Villette, of Taunton. “I think it’s good that everyone’s eligible now so we can all try to be safe and make it safe for everyone else.”

On day one of vaccine eligibility for the general public, the state seems to have all of the kinks out. People in this final eligibility phase were allowed to preregister for a vaccine appointment ahead of time.

“I pre-registered on the state website probably six weeks ago. Found out yesterday morning and was in here today,” one person said.

“It really was well organized. I was kind of surprised,” said another woman.

On this Patriot’s Day, nobody was running the Boston Marathon, but many were finishing their vaccinations. CIC Health runs the vaccination sites at the Hynes, Gillette Stadium and the Reggie Lewis Center; they said they are ready for the additional 1.7 million now eligible.

Some didn’t even know they were now eligible.

“I wasn’t that concerned about getting it right away. They texted me again about getting an appointment, so I think I’m going to do it this round,” said one woman.

The state said they expect, on average, up to a couple of weeks to get an appointment; of course that all hinges on federal vaccine supply.

Also happening Monday, New Hampshire lifted its residency requirement, meaning any person 16 and older can get vaccinated in the Granite State.