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Senior citizens struggle with state COVID vaccine portal

Posted at 6:02 PM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-23 01:01:03-05

TULSA, Okla. — Officials with the Oklahoma State Department of Health said about 290,000 eligible Oklahomans are signed up on the scheduler portal. Plenty of people in the phase two distribution plan told 2 Works for You they are having issues scheduling a vaccination.

"I need the shot," 75-year-old colon cancer survivor Reta Hughes said. "I'm getting the runaround."

Hughes said she is one of the hundreds of thousands registered through the portal but she said she cannot pin down an appointment time.

"We signed up and we went back and checked to see if there were any appointments available and there never were any appointments available,” she said.

OSDH Deputy Commissioner Keith Reed said the new time slots open late Wednesday and all day Thursday each week.

He said there are still around 4,000 appointments available for the next round of doses.

“Vaccine demand still far exceeds vaccine supply," Reed said. "We’re thankful for your continued patience in the appointment scheduling process."

Hughes said the only opening she sees are out in Western Oklahoma. She said there are no available time slots near her Washington County hometown.

"I’m very frustrated and I don’t know if I have to wait until everyone gets one handed out," Hughes said.

She told 2 Works for You calls to 211 and her local county health department go nowhere. She said each representative tells her to call the other.

Reed said if eligible recipients are having issues with the portal, they should call 211. He said 211 will pass along the caller's info to their local health department, and the health department will reach out to each eligible recipient once time slots become available.

Visit the OSDH website to sign up for a vaccination appointment.

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