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Salt Lake County's COVID-19 vaccine website suffers early morning crash due to high demand

Posted at 11:51 AM, Jan 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-14 07:50:23-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson issued an apology Wednesday morning to those who had trouble using the county's website to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment.

According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, tens of thousands of people simultaneously attempted to load the website's vaccine registration form beginning at 8 a.m. Wednesday, and the website was unable to handle the demand.

La Vonne Maloney and her husband were two of the thousands trying to register.

"After trying this over and over again, I went over to the county website and they said, yes we’re having problems," said Maloney.

Mayor Wilson apologized for the glitch in a press conference held Wednesday afternoon.

"People were using multiple attempts for their one reservation," said Mayor Wilson.

Though their system crashed, Mayor Wilson said they were able to make 25,000 appointments for those 70 and older.

"I am incredibly relieved we’re standing here with our appointments full," said Mayor Wilson.

Gary Edwards, executive director for the Salt Lake County Health Department, said they are scheduled out until the end of February -- they just hope they will have enough doses to administer.

"We have been told to plan on those doses," said Edwards. "We don’t have them at this point."

In a call to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Edwards said they were told to use the second dose of the vaccine when the first dose runs out, while they wait for more to arrive.

The second dose, said Edwards, is the exact same shot.

"For seniors this vaccine is a matter of life and death," said Maloney.

Maloney and her husband may have had trouble registering, but after nearly an hour they learned they'll be one of the first to get vaccinated on Monday.

"I’m pleased over all with how the county has handled this, there’s just a little website administrator I’d like to have a few words with," said Maloney.

The Salt Lake Health Department recommends checking their website weekly to see if appointments fall through.

Should there be inclement weather or a shortage on doses preventing someone from making their appointment, Edwards said they'll move the date to make sure that person is vaccinated.