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Long Lines And Tech Issues, As Orange County Opens Vaccine Access To Those 65 And Older

People wait in line to receive the COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination site in a parking lot for Disneyland Resort on January 13, 2021 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
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Cars were lined up outside Disneyland Wednesday morning, not to get into the closed theme park, but to get the COVID-19 vaccine on the first day it became available to anyone over the age of 65 in Orange County.

Disneyland is the first of five mass coronavirus vaccination sites that the county plans to open, each with the capacity to vaccinate 7,000 people a day.

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu thanked the Disneyland Resort for making their space available. He noted that as of tomorrow (Thursday), the park will have been closed for 10 months because of the pandemic:

"Normally this parking lot would be hosting families and friends. Heading to Disneyland for a day of fun and magic in Anaheim. But right now, we are living in anything but normal times."

Some who were able to get appointments today
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reported having to stand in line for nearly two hours.

The Disneyland vaccine site is only open for people who have an appointment. If you show up without one, you'll be turned away, officials say.

Orange County decided to adopt the state's suggestion to expand vaccine distribution to the 65+ age group yesterday. As soon as officials made the announcement, more than 10,000 people scheduled appointments in less than two hours.

All that traffic overloaded the Othena app and website, where you go to make those appointments. If you went to the site today, you got a message saying registration would reopen at 6 p.m.

The chair of the Orange County Board of Supervisors, Andrew Do acknowledged the issues and asked people to be patient:

"We are working on the technical side to increase the bandwidth in order to get people in to at least let them know that we have them in the system. And then when appropriate, we can then send out notices for the people that qualify."

Do added that people who are eligible to get vaccinated at this point should contact their provider first to see how they can get vaccinated through their health network, instead of through a publicly-run site.

As Orange County handles the mad dash,L.A. County officials say they do not have enough vaccine doses to expand access to those 65+. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer says she plans to finish vaccinating heathcare workers and nursing home residents before they move on to the next group.



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