Mass. Vaccine Site Crashes As More Residents Become Eligible

Updated 1:25 p.m., Feb. 18, 2021

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Massachusetts’ vaccine website crashed Thursday morning, leaving many unable to find and book appointments. This came the same day that residents 65 years old or older, as well as people with two or more comorbidities became eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Due to extremely high traffic and volume, the VaxFinder tool and vaccine location websites are experiencing delays and other technical difficulties. We are working as quickly as possible to resolve these issues,” the state said in a Tweet.

The site completely crashed shortly before 8 a.m., and slowly started to come back online after an hour. However, it was still not fully operational.

Residents can still call 211 to get assistance from the COVID-19 call center. However, the wait times lasted hours for many, and some residents told WBZ NewsRadio they were unable to book an appointment once they got through.

"We called at 9:03, got through at 9:17 and spoke to someone. She took all our information and then said she couldn't give us an appointment because the computer had crashed," resident Gail Rattey said. "Even when you call, they can't put your appointments in because the computer is not working."

During a press conference on Wednesday, Gov. Charlie Baker said that the vaccine website would “be in good shape” for Thursday morning.

The governor also said the website had 250,000 visits on Wednesday after it was announced that more people were being added to the eligibility list. However, those residents were not able to actually sign up for appointments until Thursday morning.

Senate President Karen Spilka said that she was “deeply disappointment” that “many Massachusetts residents are feeling frustration and anger on a day when we should be experiencing hope.”

“The Senate and House is holding a public, livestreamed oversight hearing on Thursday, February 25 and we expect answers from those responsible for this failure,” Spilka said. “The Administration must deliver a better experience for our residents, who have already dealt with so much anxiety and disruption.”

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(Photo: Getty Images)

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