COVID-19 vaccine: Riverside County says supply, not website glitch, the real problem

According to Bloomberg's vaccine tracker, California has only administered 37.3% of its vaccine supply.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) -- A new report suggests California ranks last compared to other states in the percentage of COVID-19 vaccines that have been administered.

According to Bloomberg's vaccine tracker, California has only administered 37.3% of its vaccine supply.

Locally, Riverside County residents are among those voicing their frustrations with not being able to sign up for vaccine appointments on the county's website.

"I'm not losing sleep over it, but let's put it this way, I'm tired of being cooped up," said Cynthia Edwards of Menifee, who says not only is she in the 65+ category, but she is also a substitute teacher.

She said that every time she has tried to sign up for vaccine appointments on Riverside County's website, there aren't any available.

"I know people who are 20 years younger than us that seem to be getting it," said Edwards. "I don't know what's going on here."

"I called my own healthcare provider, and they said they received 2,000 vaccines. They're running an algorithm lottery so they can determine who of their 10,000 patients is most at risk to get it."

Riverside County officials acknowledged a glitch on their website that caused it to crash shortly after appointments were made available on Thursday at noon. They say that while the glitch has been fixed, it is not entirely within their control.

"The website is a partnership in that part of it is through the county, and part of it is through a state platform," said Dr. Geoffrey Leung with Riverside University Health System. "The state platform is in the process of being updated."

Leung said a pilot program is being tested by two other counties to see if improvements to the platform will be beneficial and will increase the stability of county COVID-19 vaccine websites. But the biggest problem isn't the website itself, but rather the vaccine's limited supply.

"The main challenge we have with the vaccine right now is supply," Leung said. "If you look at the state of California, the total allotment so far is only enough to administer vaccine to 5% of the population."

Riverside County announced an additional 10,000 vaccine appointments that will be made available online at noon this Saturday. Those appointments can be made at the county's website here.

San Bernardino County residents can apply for vaccine appointments at the county site here.
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