Back in December when the COVID-19 vaccine was first offered to the most vulnerable and the elderly, it was nearly impossible to get an appointment. Landing one was like hitting the lottery. Even as the age limit was lowered to people under 75, it was still nearly impossible to find an appointment without putting together an all-star team of people, usually age 30 or under, to scour the internet in search of an elusive time slot.

Over the past several weeks, finding a COVID vaccine has become slightly easier with each passing day. This week, when Massachusetts officially opened up eligibility to everyone 16 and over, I fully expected availability on the SouthCoast to become scarce.

It hasn't.

Just this morning, I was on the CVS app searching for available appointments. There were available spots at multiple CVS locations in both New Bedford and Fall River as soon as today. That was something you'd never see even a month ago.

We spoke with Kristine Arsenault Cunningham from the New Bedford Health Department. She told us that, as of this morning, there were hundreds and hundreds of available Pfizer vaccines for this coming Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday. Their goal is to vaccinate 500 people a day at their clinic on Hervey Tichon Avenue on New Bedford's waterfront.

Michael Rock/Townsquare Media
Michael Rock/Townsquare Media

Cunningham told us that FEMA is running the clinic here because New Bedford is lagging behind a bit with the national average for vaccinating the population for COVID.

"Technically, the vaccines are earmarked for people who live in New Bedford, but we do allow people from the surrounding communities to sign up when it looks like all the appointments won't be filled," she said. "We don't want to waste the appointments."

To book an appointment at the Tichon Ave. clinic, call (508) 984-2661 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The vaccine appointments are for Saturdays through Tuesdays.

During this morning's show, while I was celebrating the fact that the vaccine was so readily available, I was also a bit concerned that it was. Is it because the younger population just isn't ready?

We got a brilliant response from Nalani Kircher from New Bedford who sent a message to us on the Fun 107 app.

"This is the last week of classes before finals for most universities, so at least the majority of the college population is likely not concerned with booking their vaccines right at the moment," she said.

Makes perfect sense to us.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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