SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) — Utahns over the age of 70 in Salt Lake County are frustrated with the health department.
Wednesday morning they could not register for the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine even though it was the first day they were allowed to do so.
Utahns called it a mess.
“It’s just kind of a big runaround and it is really hard on us people, but all we really do is sit here,” said 71-year-old Sharon Andrus. “We don’t have to go out and work, but by golly. Stress.”
Wednesday morning the Salt Lake County Health Department website could not handle the tremendous amount of people trying to register.
“We take responsibility for that and if there is anything we are known for at Salt Lake County is when we make a mistake, we own it,” said Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson.
Seventy-eight-year-old Earl Helm has worked with software for more than 30 years.
He compared the frustrations from the website to the capitol riots last week.
“This is just like the guys that raided the capitol,” said Helm. “Who would have figured they are going to get overwhelmed, who would have figured?”
Gary Edwards, executive director at the Salt Lake County Health Department said they tested the website but were not prepared for 145,000 people to be on the site at once.
They prepared for 50,000. That is more than 2/3rds of the number of people over the age of 70 that live in the county.
“It’s a little scary to be 70, but I am really happy I made it and I would like to make it a little longer,” said Andrus. “So, I absolutely want a vaccine. I think I have lived the life of the vaccines and I think that is the way to go.”
Andrus lived through the Polio epidemic and said she got her vaccine as a child, but now as an adult, she said COVID-19 is scary.
She hasn’t left her house in almost a year.
Helm said COVID-19 is one of his fears.
“To me from what I have seen that is an ugly death my heart just goes out to these people that have passed away like that,” said Helm.
The Salt Lake County Health Department said the issue was fixed. However, the appointment schedule is full right now, according to its website