Mass. Announces Improvements To Vaccine Appointment Website

A day after the vaccine appointment website crashed, the state announced some changes. WBZ-TV's Mike LaCrosse reports.

Video Transcript

LISA HUGHES: --no more. The state says it has received a critical shipment of more than 135,000 coronavirus vaccines that were in question because of bad weather down south. And more welcome news, you saw first on CBSN Boston, Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders says the state is making changes to the appointment website to make booking a vaccine easier. The website will soon hold your spot as you add your information.

DAVID WADE: Yeah, so many people had their appointments just disappear in the time it took to fill in the medical and insurance information. The state hopes that this will fix that problem. WBZ's Mike LaCrosse is live at Gillette Stadium tonight with what you need to know. Mike?

MIKE LACROSSE: David, Lisa, it was another frustrating day for people trying to book appointments. A lot of the people I spoke with were excited when they thought they found open appointments, but by the time they entered all their information, that appointment was gone.

- People don't have all day long to sit and wait on--

MIKE LACROSSE: Neil Diaz is finishing up day two of trying to book his wife an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccine. Diaz says he gets close to booking a spot, but runs out of time before it processes.

- Because it was frustrating. It shouldn't be like this.

PAULA EBBEN: Let's talk about--

MIKE LACROSSE: Health and Human Services Secretary Marylou Sudders told CBSN Boston anchor Paula Ebben the state is working to make it so your appointment will be held while you input all your information.

MARYLOU SUDDERS: You have that little time clock which says you have, like, 25, 30 minutes in order to finish the transaction. So we're looking to make several, several improvements to the website.

MIKE LACROSSE: Today, the state's vaccination website was up and running throughout the day. It was a different story yesterday morning, when the site crashed, leaving users staring at an octopus and a question mark. When you book an appointment at a mass vaccination site, you're redirected to PrepMod. The website company CEO Tiffany Tate says her team was not aware Massachusetts made the 65-plus community eligible for appointments.

TIFFANY TATE: So PrepMod's not based in Massachusetts, and we did not know that that announcement had been made.

MARYLOU SUDDERS: And there is daily communication from the Department of Public Health with prep mud and with our other vendors. So I don't accept that as an explanation.

MIKE LACROSSE: Winter weather delayed Massachusetts vaccination shipment for a few days, but more than 135,000 doses just arrived.

- Welcome to the Gillette Stadium.

MIKE LACROSSE: That means appointments at sites like Gillette Stadium will carry on without any interruptions.

- I feel much happier now that that's done.

MIKE LACROSSE: And Secretary Sudders is hoping the website improvements will make the whole process a lot less stressful for people. Reporting live from Gillette Stadium, I'm Mike LaCrosse, WBZ News.

DAVID WADE: Less stress sounds good. All right, thank you, Mi--