Vaccine distribution

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To the Editor:

On April 3, I scheduled my first-dose vaccination shot. It was the culmination of two weeks of attempts on the M.V. Hospital website. Whenever I previously tried to schedule a shot, the available time slots would disappear within seconds. On April 3, there were only 149 people other than myself who were able to get their first-dose appointments. Why so few slots? Vaccine eligibility was expanding, and supply was not increasing to match that demand. The hospital had to fulfill many second-dose appointments, and that left few first-dose slots available.

On April 17, signups for everyone ages 16-plus began. There were 400 appointments available. Like always, everything filled within a few minutes.

On April 19th, something changed. One hour after signups started, there were still five available time slots remaining. At the two-hour mark, there were still two available time slots. At the 2 hour and 7 minute mark (7:07 pm), the appointments were all filled. There were 767 slots available to start with.

What has become clear from this is that our cries for a bigger distribution of the vaccine were heard. There’s no guarantee that supply from the state will remain high, but if this is the start of things to come, we will no longer have to feel like we are in a fight to secure our vaccinations. People will no longer feel like they have to book trips off-Island to get their shot due to being unable to get something at M.V. Hospital.

The hospital has the capacity to give 1,000 vaccinations per day. As more seasonal residents return, I hope that we are now in position to get close to reaching that capacity.

Christopher Leon
Oak Bluffs