Massachusetts should create a centralized COVID-19 vaccine sign-up system to let all residents pre-register for shots, confirm eligibility and receive a notification when an appointment becomes available at a nearby location, members of the state’s congressional delegation said Tuesday in a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker.
“A disjointed and cumbersome sign-up process has left seniors confused and unable to access desperately needed vaccine appointments, and the disproportionate reliance on mass vaccination sites has left appointments unfilled with large portions of our most vulnerable populations unserved,” the Democratic lawmakers wrote in the letter to the Republican governor.
The letter was signed by U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward Markey and U.S. Reps. Katherine Clark, James McGovern, Lori Trahan, Jake Auchincloss, Seth Moulton, Ayanna Pressley, Stephen Lynch, and William Keating.
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“We remain deeply concerned that the absence of a centralized pre-registration system for vaccine appointments has contributed to a slow and inequitable deployment of vaccines in Massachusetts,” the lawmakers added.
The Baker administration last week launched an online tool designed to make it easier for residents to find COVID-19 vaccination locations.
The COVID-19 Vaccine Finder lets individuals search for locations near them by entering their ZIP code, city or town name, or the name of a vaccination location. Residents can also filter results by site type, such as mass vaccination locations, locations run by local health departments, retail pharmacies or health care locations.
The finder displays all vaccination locations open to residents, but includes only appointment details for mass vaccination locations and some sites operated by local health departments.