Under a new bill filed by State Senator Diana DiZoglio (D-Methuen), the Commonwealth of Massachusetts would be required to provide for pre-registration regarding the COVID-19 vaccine.
Senate Docket 709, An Act relative to COVID-19 vaccination preregistration, tasks the state’s Department of Public Health with establishing a centralized system for residents to pre-register. Vaccines would be distributed to persons based on which phase they fall under.
DiZoglio’s bill comes on the heels of rampant frustration among Massachusetts residents with the state’s rollout of the vaccine, in particular the Commonwealth’s vaccine website, which has left many spending hours in search of an appointment, only to hit a dead end.
Should the bill be signed into law, it will join several U.S. states, including Florida, New Jersey and West Virginia, that have produced a vaccine preregistration tool for residents to utilize. Moreover, several municipalities in Massachusetts, including the Towns of Cohasset and Hingham, have proceeded with similar preregistration systems at the local level.
“We need to get ahead of this pandemic instead of continuing to chase after it,” said DiZoglio. “The vaccine rollout has been less than ideal but we can ensure that the frustration experienced by the first group of eligible recipients is not replicated during subsequent phases of the vaccine distribution plan. We can do that by giving all Massachusetts residents the opportunity to establish eligibility and preregister for the vaccine instead of spending time and energy trying to schedule appointments whose availability is determined by the vaccine supply chain. A centralized state-level preregistration system would provide residents a way to effectively hold their space in line and alert them to available appointments as their vaccination eligibility phase opens.”