It’s the phrase so many Bay Staters have been anxiously waiting to see on coronavirus vaccine provider websites: “Vaccine eligible,” and it is finally true for everyone 16-and older on Monday.
About 1.7 million more people in Massachusetts will become eligible for the vaccine on Patriots Day.
But not everyone will be able to get an appointment right away, as the amount of people who want a shot is significantly more than the amount of doses available.
“Be patient,” said Todd Ellerin, director of infectious diseases at South Shore Health. “It’s important to understand that demand will still far exceed supply. It’s definitely hard to be patient when everyone is excited sending videos of getting their vaccine and doing vaccine dances.”
About 4 million people in Massachusetts have been eligible for a vaccination leading up to the additional population becoming eligible on Monday.
Over the weekend, the state hit the milestone of more than 2 million residents who are fully vaccinated, which is the halfway mark of the state’s goal of vaccinating 4.1 million residents. More than 3 million people have had at least a first dose of a vaccine.
“Massachusetts continues to put as many shots into arms as quickly as possible, but we can only move as fast as the federal government will ship doses to the Commonwealth,” a Massachusetts COVID-19 Response Command Center spokesperson said in a statement.
As of Sunday, more than 5.9 million doses had been shipped to the state, and more than 5 million doses have been administered. That leaves 828,618 doses remaining before more shipments arrive this week.
Last week, 573,369 total doses were administered in the previous seven days — which was a weekly record for the state as many days hover around 100,000 shots given.
People can preregister for an appointment at the state’s mass vaccination sites.
“Based on federal supply and 1.7M additional people becoming eligible tomorrow, people should expect that it could take up to a few weeks to be contacted for an appointment,” the state’s COVID-19 Response Command Center spokesperson said. “People are able to continue searching for appointments at other locations while they are preregistered, but they should opt-out of the system if they find an appointment elsewhere.”
More than 600,000 vaccines have been administered at CIC Health’s mass vaccination sites, including at the Reggie Lewis Center, Hynes Convention Center and Gillette Stadium.
“We realize this is a long-awaited moment for so many people and we are honored to be part of it,” CIC Health said in a statement. “Even as we recognize your enthusiasm, we ask for your patience given that about 1.7 million more people just became eligible for vaccination.”