WCVB – All Massachusetts residents age 16 and older are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

After people have struggled to book a vaccination appointment, the process has appeared to become a bit easier since eligibility has expanded.

“It was terrible,” a Brookline resident said of the early days of the booking process. “I went on the website for, like, three hours or four hours.”

“My wife tried once and got it on the first try,” said a Waltham resident, who admitted that he struggled to find an appointment before the past few days.

In the past few days, online appointments have popped up regularly on pharmacy websites such as CVS and Walgreens.

For those who preregistered on the Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccine website, thousands of appointments are up for grabs at the state-run vaccination sites.

Vaccine alerts have been sent via text, and tweets tell of hundreds of vaccination appointments at community sites throughout the state.

Dr. Daniel Kuritzkes, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, says the jump in vaccine availability is a combination of steady supply and slowing demand.

Massachusetts residents 16 years and older became eligible to book their COVID-19 vaccine beginning Monday.

This opened up vaccines to another 1.7 million people in the Bay State and Gov. Charlie Baker says it could take weeks to get everyone their shot.

Residents can book their spot at a mass vaccination site by pre-registering on the state’s website.

State leaders say 300,000 people have already taken their names off that list, meaning they may have gotten a shot sooner at a non-mass vaccination site or out of state.

“It feels like relief, it feels like there is an end in sight,” said Suzanne Wright, who was eager to get a vaccine. “It feels like optimism, really it’s exciting to see people around me get vaccinated and know that I’m next.”

Sean Wenzel added, “Being able to see my grandmother even though she already got vaccinated, it’ll be nice to kind of just relax and know that it’s a safe environment wherever I go.”

Four regional collaboratives have been added to the preregistration system in Northboro, West Springfield, Palmer, and Northampton.

“Our tech team continues to work hard to improve our website and user experience and is prepared for the influx in traffic that will occur before and on the 19th,” Baker said.

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