BRIGHAM CITY – People 70 and older will start getting their COVID-19 vaccine shots next week, but one man won't because he was shut out of scheduling an appointment on the Bear River Health Department website.
"Within 10 minutes the site shut down. I was able to get on initially. It crashed a couple of times," said 80-year-old veteran James Wait.
He knows his way around the internet. He needed to make an appointment on the Bear River Health Department's website right at 6 p.m. Wednesday.
He was eventually able to start filling out the online form for himself and his wife.
"By the time I was ready to be completed, I felt, then the site (message) came up that it had closed and that there were no more further appointments," Wait said.
The Waits hoped this would be their chance to start inching towards a more normal life.
"We didn't have a Christmas basically, didn't have a Thanksgiving basically. Everybody stayed away, stayed in their own families," James said.
They both have health concerns and they're being extra-careful. They'd like to see their children and 17 grandchildren.
"Occasionally they come and stand out in the driveway," he said.
Now he's concerned that the online-only sign-up could be even tougher for others.
"I mean, I know people that have very limited computer skills and they would not be able to be that quick in getting their registration," he added.
He said he knows the health departments are struggling too.
"They're probably swamped, but the rollout of this in the state, I think, has been very poor," James said.
Officials with the Bear River Health Department said they will start vaccinating residents age 70 and older, who have appointments, on Thursday.
Another online sign-up period is set for Wednesday.