SAN JOSE (KPIX) — Some Bay Area residents over age 65 got their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday but others are finding out that — just because they’re eligible — it doesn’t mean the shot is easy to get.
“It ended up being two hours and 15 minutes,” said Erik Duran, describing how long he was on hold Thursday waiting to talk to someone at Kaiser to schedule an appointment for his 66-year-old mother, Susan, to get her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.READ MORE: Pandemic-Inspired Art Greets Visitors to Newly-Reopened San Francisco Museums
“When they knew this was all going to be happening so fast, you’d think that they would start planning,” Duran said. He says when he first got on the phone, a recording told him to be prepared for a four-hour-long wait.
San Francisco supervisor Matt Haney posted a tweet Thursday saying that Kaiser patients were telling him they were on hold for more than five hours.
“This is a logistical nightmare. The whole thing,” says UC Berkeley public health professor, Dr. John Swartzberg. He says health systems like Kaiser, Sutter and John Muir are trying to come up with plans to roll out vaccines while, at the same time, their ICUs are maxed out and staffs are stretched thin.READ MORE: East Bay Entrepreneurs Eager for Red Tier Easing to Boost Business
“They’re at the limits of trying to supply care to the population and, on top of that, we’re telling them, ‘put together good plans and work out all the logistics to get these vaccines administered,’” Dr. Swartzberg said. He added that, as frustrating as it can be, just try to be patient and the process will get smoother.
Duran says he’s simply grateful his mother now has an appointment one week from Monday.
“It’s a big relief that she’s going to be vaccinated and she can feel more comfortable going to the store,” Duran said.
Each county has its own process for getting people eligible for a vaccine set up with an appointment so, to know what your options are, check your county health department website.MORE NEWS: UC Researchers Find North Coast Kelp Forest Nearly Wiped Out
You can also find a link to more information here: Bay Area COVID-19 Vaccine Resources Page