UMass doctor explains slowdown of people wanting COVID-19 vaccines

BOSTON — A little less than three months ago, lines were long, and frustrations were high in Massachusetts as people tried to get signed up for coronavirus vaccine appointments. Long lines wrapped around the Doubletree Hotel in Danvers back in February, but now in April, thousands of vaccine appointments are available for the picking.

So now the main question is - because people aren’t booking appointments or because there are just more doses available now?

They’re now more than 2.4 million people in the state that are fully vaccinated, which is about 35 percent of the population. Right now, an average of 87,000 first and second doses are being given each day. That’s been consistent for about two weeks and is only slightly lower than the high of more than 90,000 a day earlier this month.

If you’re looking to book an appointment but were scared off by the early troubles that people had, it appears those days are over. This morning, for example, thousands of appointments have opened at CVS, Walgreens, and regional sites, so checking there could land you a shot in the next few days.

“With so many appointments available, I think there are a lot of people who are not jumping in and taking the chance to get it right now,” said Dr. Richard Ellison of UMass Memorial Medical Center.

Doctors reminding people that the virus is still prevalent, despite businesses and activities slowly reopening around the state.

“Our case rate has dropped, but we’re still at 900 plus cases per day in Massachusetts,” said Dr. Ellison.

The state continues to receive plenty of doses each week, and the Johnson and Johnson shot is offered once again.

Residents can still pre-register for the mass vaccination and regional sites, but they might find immediate openings at a drug store or local site. If they can secure a spot at a local site, they can opt-out of the state’s text alert system.

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