Booster shots available, vaccine passports soon

BOSTON — As we enter the holiday season, many people are deciding to see friends and family after missing out last year. But the need for COVID-19 booster shots suddenly shot up, making appointments hard to find. Governor Charlie Baker is assuring people they can find appointments, but they not might be able to book them right away. The governor said you might have to wait a few days and drive a little farther than just going to your neighborhood pharmacy.

So far, about one million people in Massachusetts got their booster shot. Governor Baker spoke on WGBH Radio Monday and said two weeks ago that there were tons of open booster appointments. But he says demand has since increased after the state expanded eligibility to all residents. Despite that, the governor said he can still always find appointments on the state’s vax finder website.

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“Now, they may not be in the place that somebody wants to go to get one, and it may be a week or 10 days or two weeks out before they can get one,” said Baker. “But given the fact that we have far more demand than we did a couple of weeks ago, we’re going to see if we can increase our capacity to do more.”

At CVS, we learned that certain stores cannot book more than four appointments an hour. The state is also doing mobile pop-up vaccination clinics. There is one in Nahant this afternoon and one in Chelsea this Friday. For a full list, click here:

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A universal system to show proof of vaccination may be coming to Massachusetts. Governor Baker hinted a vaccine passport will be coming soon.

The vaccine cards are a little large and don’t fit in the average wallet. Some people have already lost theirs. The system the governor is considering is creating a QR code you can have on your phone, and the governor admitted on WGBH radio yesterday that he has his QR code proving he is vaccinated.

This differs from what the governor said back in the spring when he shot down the idea of a vaccine verification system. That’s also when people were still trying to book appointments to get their first shots, and the governor said he wanted to focus on getting people vaccinated. As more businesses require proof, the governor gave an update on a possible vaccine verification system coming to the Bay State.

“We’ve been working with a bunch of other states, probably 15 to 20 of them, to try to create a single QR code that can be used for all sorts of things where may people may choose to require a vaccine…soon,” said Baker.

The governor didn’t offer any other details about the new system, but he suggested this was an easy way to show proof of your vaccination status.

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