▶️ Another week, another race for appts. as vaccine demand overwhelms supply

By MEGHAN GLOVA
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Another week of Deschutes County COVID vaccination sign-ups filled in less than an hour Tuesday morning, available to residents age 65 and older.

Brigitte Calkins woke up early determined to get her 65-year-old husband, who is considered high risk, signed up for an appointment.

“I waited, and I waited, and I waited,” Calkins said. “After about eight minutes I thought there’s something wrong here.”

Sign-ups began at 9 a.m. and Calkins tried to make an appointment right away.

The Bend woman says she finally got on the site by 9:30 a.m. only to see “all appointments are filled.”

“I was there in plenty of time to get an appointment and I didn’t get one,” Calkins said. “It was really frustrating to me because I’m getting it for my husband.”

Calkins’ husband, Dennis, has had two bone marrow transplants and now has Graft vs. Host Disease; where donor bone marrow or stem cells attack the recipient.

“He has a better chance of getting the virus than a lot of people in town,” Calkins said. “I’d say most people in town.”

According to Morgan Emerson with Deschutes County Public Health, vaccination sign-ups are difficult when demand is greater than supply and it will likely take weeks before all eligible residents are scheduled.

“We have about 25,000 residents 65 and older who are waiting for their first dose,” Emerson said. “With about 2,500 vaccine appointments this week.”

Emerson says in the first 12 minutes of sign-ups, 93% of Thursday’s and 45% of Friday’s appointments were booked.

She adds the reason residents age 65 and older became eligible before all 70 and older residents were vaccinated is due to guidance from the Oregon Health Authority.

Despite Calkins’ most recent attempt, will she try again next week?

“If I have to stay up all night to do it again, I’ll do it again and try to be the first person on,” Calkins said. “It didn’t work this time on this one, so I’ll try something else.”

 

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