A woman who built a website to make Massachusetts coronavirus vaccine sign-up process, which some consider to be confusing, easier to use has come to the governor's attention and now has an appointment to talk with state officials.
Olivia Adams, a software developer and mom to two young kids, decided to create macovidvaccines.com while on maternity leave after hearing from her mother-in-law about how difficult it was to find available vaccinations and sign up for an appointment using Massachusetts' online portal.
Gov. Charlie Baker hadn't heard about the site when we asked about it at a news conference on Friday. But when we followed up on Monday, he said the website will be getting improved soon, and that his administration will speak with Adams.
"Yes, we have taken a look. We have reached out, we expect at some point this week we’ll talk to her," Baker said.
It's not yet clear what the changes to the website will be.
Adams, who lives in Arlington, confirmed on Monday that she does have a meeting with state officials.
On Friday, we were the first to cover the website she built, which puts vaccination locations and their available time slots all on one page.
"While the state's website has a centralized location, there's like a different website for each place, and they all operate slightly differently," Adams said at the time. "And there's no good way to say like, 'OK, what places have availability in the next week or how many slots are available? Am I wasting my time calling every CVS around me to see what the heck is going on?'"
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Members of the Massachusetts State House took notice of what Adams took it upon herself to do and pushed for the governor to consider looking into her work.
Among them was Rep. Mike Connolly, of Cambridge, who wrote Baker a letter "just encouraging him to support Olivia's work and to figure out a way to incorporate the necessary functionality into the state's own official systems," he said.
The vaccine sign-up process has evolved as the state moves through the phases of its rollout plan. More and more people are able to sign up for vaccination appointments, but some have complained that the process is cumbersome or hard to understand.
Also at Monday's news conference, Baker said the state is not planning to redistribute doses from mass vaccination sites like Gillette Stadium and Fenway Park to smaller sites, even though the larger sites have thousands of appointments available and some seniors say they don’t want to use them.
He also said that those 65 and older have to wait a little bit longer for the state to move into the next part of phase 2, where they'll be allowed to sign up.
Roughly 200,000 of people in the 75-and-up age group have received their first shots, Baker said, but he still wants to wait a little bit longer.
More on COVID in Mass.