Demand for COVID booster shots ‘skyrocketing’ in Mass. amid surge in cases


BOSTON (WPRI) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said everyone 18 years and older should get a booster shot as the Omicron variant quickly spreads across the world.

The recommendation has left some clinics in Massachusetts struggling to keep up with the demand. The uptick has left the first open slots available days or weeks from now.

Over the last few days, demand has skyrocketed for booster shots in the Bay State since the state expanded eligibility to all residents.

The Cambridge Health Alliance Vaccine Center says they had so many people trying to get a vaccination or a booster shot that they are now going by appointment only. Appointments at pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens have also been filling up fast.

With no slots available for two weeks, some residents have been waiting hours in line for walk-in clinics or traveling further distances to find an open appointment.

More than 4.8 million Massachusetts residents are fully vaccinated and 1.1 million people have already gotten a booster.

“The good news here is there is a lot more demand for boosters. A few weeks ago, we had thousands and thousands of open appointments available in Massachusetts every day. We still have many appointments available every day, the issue in some cases for people is just whether or not it’s convenient for them,” Baker said. “My goal here is to make sure everybody who is eligible for a booster and wants one gets one.”

Baker says the state has no plans to reopen a mass vaccination site to meet the demand. He adds that the state has over 1,000 locations where people can get the shot and their focus is opening more local clinics and pop-ups where there is a larger demand.

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