MARIN COUNTY (KPIX 5) — As Marin County is set to expand its COVID-19 vaccine rollout to teachers and food service workers, seniors who have been eligible for weeks say finding appointments is still proving to be a challenge.

88-year-old Ann Marie Edwards received her first vaccine dose Wednesday night at the drive through site at Larkspur Landing. Edwards said she is very grateful to finally get her first dose. Her son worked for weeks to get her an appointment online.

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Edwards is a Kaiser patient and she had no luck getting the vaccine through her healthcare provider. She’s not the only one.

Zoe Harris, 79, told KPIX 5, “I’m a member of Kaiser and that’s what I wanted to do but they are way behind.”

Still unable to get an appointment, Harris showed up at a Marin County vaccine site, hoping to get a leftover dose at the end of the day.

Harris adds, “I was checking out the drug stores today and they all say no, no, no, no appointments. And I don’t know, it’s really discouraging.”

Kaiser Permanente issued a statement to KPIX 5 Wednesday night, which read in part, “We have been actively engaged with the state to address the disparity in vaccine supply we have received, and as a result, the state is adjusting its allocation system and we will begin receiving a more appropriate amount of vaccine going forward.”

Marin County seniors are also frustrated with the California’s MyTurn website. Visitors who mark that they are 65 and older, work in education and live in Marin are being told that they are not eligible. County officials said they have been working closely with the state to fix the glitch.

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While this process has been frustrating for some residents, they understand the challenges of fighting the pandemic.

Ian Edwards said, “I’m giving this a high grade for getting this thing underway it’s a big endeavor to get the whole population vaccinated.”

Marin County officials say while they are opening up their vaccines to the next tier of essential workers, they will be prioritizing seniors 65 and older and giving them access to open appointments first.

Editor’s Note: Full Statement From Kaiser Permanente

“Although Kaiser Permanente has been receiving a disproportionately small share of vaccine, relative to the portion of the population our members represent, we have been very efficient in delivering the doses we receive and are close to completing our outreach and offering vaccination appointments to our 270,000 members aged 75 and older.

We have been actively engaged with the state to address the disparity in vaccine supply we have received, and as a result, the state is adjusting its allocation system and we will begin receiving a more appropriate amount of vaccine going forward. We are ready to administer this new supply and more.

In the coming weeks, as new supplies allow, we are broadening availability in the 65 years and older age group starting with those at higher risk, and anticipate expanding to additional populations as approved by the state. Our integrated system enables Kaiser Permanente to identify members as they become eligible and proactively contact them providing the information to make an appointment through our on-line system or by phone. Within this, we are able to identify those at increased risk due to medical factors or community exposure, and prioritize accordingly if needed. Once contacted, members can make a vaccination appointment online or by phone. 

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We will communicate directly to our members when vaccination appointments are available, and update the kp.org/covidvaccine website as new information becomes available.”