IRVINE (CBSLA) — Cars snaked through Irvine for nearly two miles Friday as healthcare workers and those at highest risk of COVID-19 exposure lined up for their chance to be vaccinated.
“We’ve been waiting for four hours now, and I’m still not even, I’m not even in line,” Gabriella Ciulla, a physician’s assistant, said.
Those who drove in and made it to the point in the line where they were about to get their shots said they had waited more than four hours.
“I was expecting to show up and maybe have to wait in a line like this in the parking lot, but was not expecting the four hours wait in my car for sure,” Kelly Mountain, a physician’s assistant, said.
Those who saw the car line and chose to park and walk into the vaccination site said they waited about two hours.
“We were hoping we’d be called to the front of the line at our appointment time, and maybe eliminate the … walk-ups, because we all had to wait in our cars and others were just walking ahead to the front so it was not very organized,” Ciulla said.
The healthcare workers said they made appointments online, which the Orange County Health Care Agency said was part of the problem since a glitch in the scheduling system failed to cap the number of reservations.
Officials said others showed up without appointments or proper proof that they qualified to receive a vaccination in Tier 1A also jammed the process and contributed to delays.
“It’s definitely a long wait, especially for these people who are trying to get back to the hospital, get back to their appointments,” Caitlin Roque, a healthcare technician, said.
The Orange County Fire Authority said paramedics and nurses gave out 1,250 vaccines Thursday and were giving about 160 shots per hour on Friday.
“We’re hoping that everybody sticks to the registration process, but we’re working our way through it,” Capt. Thanh Nguyen, of OCFA, said.