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Some Bend residents frustrated, upset over online vaccine scheduling

'I am a cancer survivor ... yet no one seems to care'

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) --Scheduling vaccines has not been an easy process for some in Deschutes County.

At 9 a.m. on Tuesday, vaccination appointments opened up in Deschutes County for those over the age of 70. By 11 a.m., the 3,140 vaccine appointments available, were filled.

Landis Schmitt is one of many Bend residents over 70 who could not get an appointment. 

"I am a cancer survivor, so I have another criteria for getting the vaccine -- yet no one seems to care,” Schmitt said. 

Schmitt said he tried all Tuesday morning to get registered for a COVID-19 vaccination appointment.

He said the website either crashed or stalled -- and before he knew it, all the appointments were filled.

Starting next week, Oregonians over 65 will be eligible as well, but Schmitt feels the registration system is already too crowded.

"Just seems like all they're doing is throwing people in a big pool and making people compete to try and get a vaccine," he said.

Fred Cholick, another Bend 70-year-old, had a similar issue.

"The local system is adding to the frustration, rather than try to eliminate frustrations for the people trying to register for the vaccinations,” Cholick said. 

Schmidtt and Cholick think the website issues will only get worse.

"When they open that next week, and they lower that to (65), what's going to happen? It's going to crash!” Cholick said. "It just means there's going to be a lot more people trying to get in there at the same time."

Morgan Emerson of Deschutes County Health Services said St. Charles made adjustments to the website to help handle the large capacity

She said they are  following state guidelines by moving to the next age group.

"We ask that our community be patient as we continue to get supplies and get those out as quickly as we can, knowing that our current supply doesn't meet our demand at this time,” Emerson said. 

Schmitt and Cholick said they will try again when appointments open up.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Noah Chast

Noah Chast is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Noah here.


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