About three minutes is all it took for the public to book over 1,000 appointments online to receive the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
The Oklahoma City-County Health Department (OCCHD) announced at 9 a.m. Tuesday, those 65 years old and older could begin booking appointments.
The vaccines are scheduled to be distributed to those with appointments at Mercy Hospital on Thursday beginning at 8 a.m.
At 8:58 a.m. on Tuesday, Caitlyn Tyler visited the Oklahoma City-County Health Department’s website trying to get a vaccine appointment for her parents. It would be a success, or so she thought.
“Clicked one (appointment), filled out the information, submitted it and it said we’re sorry, too full,” said Tyler. “I got to do that four times which I think is also the disappointing part. (I was) so close! So close!”
Scheduling ended about as quick as it started. At first, Tyler said she was upset but came to a realization.
“It would be a relief but at the same time, I don’t think any of us are owed the vaccine,” said Tyler. “It’s such a miracle that we even have access to a vaccine this fast. When I read it on Facebook, I was shocked that it was already ready.”
Health officials at OCCHD told News 9 they had a feeling appointments would book fast, but didn’t think it would happen as fast as it did.
“There is more than 800,000 people in Oklahoma County, 14% of them are 65 and older,” said Molly Fleming, spokeswoman for OCCHD. “That is a lot of people waiting to fill those spots. People were just on the ball.”
While health officials at OCCHD are thrilled about the public’s willingness to take the vaccine, they stress, there’s a huge demand with very little supply.
“We can only vaccinate people when we have vaccines. We can only plan for clinics when we know how much vaccine we have,” said Fleming. “We only get that number every week and we plan for the following week with our clinics and our events.”
Health officials said do not show up to Mercy Hospital Thursday without an appointment.
If anyone with an appointment is turned away for whatever reason, that vaccine will go to a health care worker who has yet to receive a first dose.
No future vaccination dates have been scheduled yet.