Many struggled to find an appointment before eligibility for a COVID-19 vaccine expanded to every resident aged 16 and older.
MIKE: Oh, it's a huge relief, yeah. Oh yeah, I've been waiting to get this since day one.
MARY SALADNA: It feels good to show off that Band-Aid, even better now that it takes less time to sign up for the shot.
MIKE: Yeah, my wife tried once and got it on the first try.
MARY SALADNA: But Mike says before that, he'd struggled to find an appointment. So did Joanna. She remembers those long hours in February ball and chain to the state website.
JOANNA: Terrible. I went on the website for like three hours, four hours.
MARY SALADNA: But in just the past few days, online appointments have popped up regularly throughout the day on Walgreens and CVS websites. For those who preregistered, thousands of appointments are up for grabs at the state vaccination sites. Vaccine alerts via text and tweet tell of hundreds of appointments at community sites around the state. Experts say the jump in availability is a combination of steady supply and slowing demand. The biggest risk right now, vaccine hesitancy.
DANIEL KURITZKES: The danger of people not getting vaccinated is that there will be this residual pool of susceptible individuals in whom the pandemic is going to continue to churn, who have the risk of potentially generating a new variant that might not be covered by the vaccine, that could then spark an outbreak, even among the vaccinated. And it will be really hard to get back to normal.
MARY SALADNA: The governor said today the state is administering 60,000 to 100,000 shots a day and easily has the capacity to do twice that amount. In Needham, I'm Mary Saladna, WCVB News Center 5.