After long online waits and a website riddled with issues, Massachusetts residents’ difficulties with registering for the COVID-19 vaccine may be eased with the creation of a new vaccination state pre-registration webpage on Friday March 12.
Unlike the previous vaccination appointment website, Vaxxed, where only those who met certain qualifications could register, the new state webpage allows anyone who is a Massachusetts resident to pre-register to receive the vaccine. By registering, residents are signing up be notified of when a vaccination appointment opens up at one of seven testing sites across the state. This registration is free and requires no sensitive personal information to sign up besides the information necessary to determine eligibility.
Built for accessibility, one can fill out the form for someone else, and the form asks for information such as preferred language of communication. This information may address the language and internet access barriers which could otherwise inhibit some members of the Commonwealth from accessing the vaccine.
Upon pre-registering, residents should expect to receive a message confirming their preferred form of communication. In the weeks between registration and becoming eligible to receive the vaccine, registrants should confirm that they would still like to remain on the list weekly and then. Once they are contacted with an appointment availability, they will have 24 hours to sign up to for the appointment using a link sent to them.
Through a second web page on mass.gov, Vaxfinder, eligible residents can sign up to be vaccinated at 170 additional smaller and often privately owned vaccine sites, the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s two campuses being among them.
This pre-registration website comes after Massachusetts State Senator Diana DiZoglio filed a bill on February 17 for the creation of a “centralized system to provide all Massachusetts residents with the option of preregistering for COVID-19 vaccination irrespective of phase or group of eligibility under the Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.”
Talia Heisey can be reached at [email protected]