The internet vaccination appointment system isn’t the major fault getting an appointment, although it’s still pathetic, but the real problem is too many people are now qualified to get vaccinations at the same time and it overwhelms the system. Taking the 65+ age group plus also adding the 18 and older people with two medical conditions has opened up Pandora’s box and completely overwhelms the appointment system and vaccine supply. Massachusetts should have not added the group with two medical conditions at this time (“medical group”). Why choose them to be held back versus the 65 to 74 age group? Because out of 41 states that analyzed the percentages of those that died of COVID-19 that Massachusetts is the third worse state of percentage deaths of ages 65 and older at 90 percent, and we were only beaten by Idaho at 94 percent and New Hampshire at 92 percent.
Currently the Massachusetts population is around 6,900,000, with the elderly population age of 65 to 74 being about 9.8 percent, equaling 676,200 people. The potential medical group (forgetting age 18 to 24) is 53.3 percent or about 3,678,000, but we know that they all don’t have two medical conditions, so let’s be conservative and just look at the percent between ages 55 to 64 being 13.6 percent or about 938,000 as the predominant medical group. And many of them may not have medical issues, so who knows how many people in the younger groups do qualify? Let’s just use around 800,000 to be conservative for the medical group. The medical group should have been deferred for at least one month.
Massachusetts is currently vaccinating around 40,000 a day, seven days a week and we have about 675,000 (age 65 to 74), and adding 800,000 as the medical group equals 1,475,000 people trying to get an appointment and we only receive about 280,000 shots weekly! However, since it appears that some people just don’t want to take the vaccine being maybe 25 percent, that reduces the amount of demand to 1,106,000 minus three weeks that’s already completed about 280,000 per week.
But wait. We cannot forget that each person needs two vaccinations, and we have to account for the people 75 and older plus some remaining front-line people still getting their second vaccination. And we also have to assume it will take almost a month to clean that up, thereby we’ve jammed the system and it will probably take three months for the 65 and over plus those with the whole medical group to be completed with two vaccinations before there’s room for additional people to make appointments.
And now comes the interesting question is how will our Massachusetts government leaders open up the rest of our remaining population maybe 3,000,000+ and cause another needless appointment system traffic jam?
The federal government will be increasing our COVID vaccine supply plus Johnson & Johnson coming out with the one-shot vaccination will help cure the log jam, but Massachusetts also needs to think ahead for once and consider hiring additional people to run some of these major sites like Gillette and opened 12 or more hours a day.
Yes, the web system still has its difficulties like the system doesn’t even talk to itself because I’ve seen appointments showing 400+ openings on one screen and you go to the actual appointment detail screen and it shows zero appointments available.
Daryl K. Smith