‘It's Awful': Angry Baker Responds to Thursday's Vaxfinder Website Crash

Baker said 20,000 appointments of Thursday's appointments have already been booked, but the remaining 50,000 won't be posted until people can access them

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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker says he's "pissed off" about the crash of the state's vaccination finder website on Thursday morning and is working to make sure that it gets fixed quickly and doesn't happen again.

"My hair's on fire about the whole thing. I can't even begin to tell you how pissed off I am, and people are working really hard to get it fixed," the governor said during an interview on GBH's Boston Public Radio at noon Thursday.

"This is not satisfactory," he added. "It's awful and it's going to get fixed and I'm going to work very hard to make sure it doesn't happen again."

The state's vaccination website has been virtually inaccessible due to crashes as the state works to prioritize where doses go

Baker wasn't able to explain exactly what caused the crash. He said people did a lot of work ahead of time to prepare for the added volume, "but clearly they didn't do enough." He said people are now working to figure out what went wrong and get the site back up and running.

Baker told GBH that about 20,000 appointments for next week at Danvers, Dartmouth, Natick and Springfield have already been booked through secondary websites, but the remaining 50,000, mostly at Fenway Park and Gillette Stadium, have not been posted yet and won't be "until people can actually access them."

People visiting the website after 8 a.m. Thursday were met with a message that "this application crashed." Visitors were advised to try again later. The website appeared to be back up at about 10 a.m., though it was unclear whether it was fully functional.

"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," a spokesperson for the state's COVID-19 Command Center said in an email just after 9 a.m. "New appointments have not posted yet for next week. Appointments will be made available soon and will be released throughout the morning. The Command Center will continue to provide updates."

Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Monica Bharel is asking people to be patient as state officials work to figure out why the Massachusetts vaccination finder website crashed Thursday morning and find a solution.

When Baker announced Wednesday that people 65 years old or older, the residents and staff of affordable and low-income housing for seniors, and people with two or more health conditions that put them at higher risk for hospitalization or death would be able to start booking vaccination appointments at 8 a.m. Thursday, it represented roughly a doubling of the number of people eligible for the limited number of vaccine doses.

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