LOGAN — Vaccines for those 70 and older continue to roll out as large vaccination clinics started in northern Utah Thursday and more computer systems crashed under pressure from the large number of people trying to make appointments.
Hundreds of Utah seniors showed up in Logan for one of those clinics. It was the first of many to come in the Bear River Health District.
Officials expected to vaccinate as many as 900 people by the time the clinic ended Friday.
Serious concerns persisted over the area's limited supplies. However, residents said this is the moment they have been waiting for.
"Pretty good," said Ken Wright. "It means I'll actually be able to get out and do things now."
Seniors waited in line Thursday at the drive-in clinic in Logan. About 28 cars at a time were brought into the Cache County Event Center. Alice Hillyard said, "We're excited to be able to get it done." Her husband, former state Sen. Lyle Hillyard, was impressed by how well the clinic was organized.
"We were really pleased to get it done so quickly and here, I think they have really done it well here," he said.
Some people had a rough time getting the reservations.
"Very lucky that we got in as soon as we did, really. And we're excited to do it, and hope that we'll do some good to stamp down this virus," Joan Painter said. She was able to get her husband in on Thursday, but she will have to wait another week for her shot.
Mass vaccinations are underway with @BearRiverHealth today in Logan. They say they're getting some relief in terms supply to meet the overwhelming demand. I'll explain where some departments are still struggling. @KSL5TV at 5&6:30pm pic.twitter.com/wnXQKrIffJ— Mike Anderson (@mikeandersonKSL) January 21, 2021
"We've got a full clinic today, somewhere between 700 and 900 doses going out today," said Bear River Health Department spokesman Josh Greer.
Doses have arrived in the hundreds but they will get them by the thousands in February. He believes that will give them a chance to catch up.
Residents can sign up for vaccinations at the Bear River Health District here.
The Weber-Morgan Health Department said it's still falling behind in the 70 and older group, and now some people are waiting for a follow-up shot.
Between Weber and Morgan counties, 22,000 people could be vaccinated during this phase.
High demand crashed the health district's website Thursday as new slots became available.
"We can only apologize for what has been an agonizing experience for all of us," said Lori Buttars, WMHD spokeswoman. "We were using the online system to get people registered quickly. The online system will be put on hold until we can work through our IT issues to prevent future issues."
There is a team now answering the phones at 801-399-7777, a news release said.
"There are many people who are not able to get through there as well. We are doing what we can to work our way through the number of people who are calling and have called. Answering all of the messages could take several weeks," officials added.