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Utah residents continue to have issues scheduling COVID-19 vaccine appointments

Posted at 5:46 PM, Jan 14, 2021

TAYLORSVILLE, Utah — Salt Lake and Utah County residents continue to see problems scheduling COVID-19 vaccination appointments.

Taylorsville resident Dennis Rippy waited hours trying to get a time slot for himself and his wife Wednesday.

"8 o'clock in the morning I was on the computer, my wife was on the phone, and an hour and a half later still frustrated trying to get into it," Rippy said.

After a two-hour delay, Rippy was able to secure an appointment, but there was still a problem.

"I clicked register, and it went away, that's all it did," he added. "Didn't say confirmed it didn't say denied, didn't get anything."

A day later, and still no confirmation. He said he wasn't the only one with the issue.

"We called some friends and they said the same thing, that they never got notification," Rippy said. "They still haven't got theirs and we still haven't got ours."

The Salt Lake County Health Department acknowledged the problem in a Facebook post Wednesday evening. They are asking everyone who did not receive an appointment confirmation to email with a full name, date of birth and phone number so they can reach out to try and resolve the issue.

"We just want to know did we register or did we not?" Rippy said. "We probably went through it ten different times and it failed nine out of the ten."

Salt Lake County wasn't alone in vaccine scheduling problems. Utah County residents complained of similar troubles when they tried to register.

"It's certainly a challenge as we all know with limited vaccine at this time," said Aislynn Tolman-Hill, the Utah County Health Department's public information officer.

The county had 1,500 appointment slots available when registration opened up at 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.

"Some of those slots were 95% full within two minutes," Tolman-Hill said. "They were pretty much 100% full within four or five minutes."

Utah county sent out text notifications 24-hours in advance, informing residents when registration would open up.

"Almost 8,000 individuals signed up for those text notifications, and the number of slots available it's just not there," Tolman-Hill added. "We didn't have any issues with any of our servers, with our website. We've actually been preparing for this for months, and months, and months."

She said that the county health department will add more appointments when more vaccinations become available.

"As we receive more vaccine, we are ready to go, in terms of being able to ramp up our capabilities locally," she said.

For now, Utah County is asking residents to be patient, and is ensuring that everyone who needs a vaccine will get one.

"You will be able to get your vaccine, rest assured," Tolman-Hill said.

Seniors who were not able to get a time slot Wednesday can be added to a list for the next round of vaccination appointments. They are instructed to call the Utah County Health Department's helpline at 801-851-4357.