ANAHEIM (CBSLA) – Hundreds of cars lined up for the opening of Orange County’s first coronavirus vaccination super site at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim on Wednesday.
The iconic theme park is hosting Orange County’s first large-scale coronavirus vaccination site, where cars began cueing up at 5 a.m.
“I was able to make an appointment last night for today, so I think that’s off to a great start,” Rick Morlok, a Trabuco Canyon resident, said.
However, countless drivers were met with disappointment when they were turned away because they had not scheduled appointments beforehand.
The Orange County Healthcare Agency (HCA) reported that 10,000 people signed up Tuesday evening for appointments. The website crashing shortly after going live.
“We are working diligently to address any technical issues this large influx of visitors may have caused,” the agency tweeted Wednesday morning.
O.C. firefighters and paramedics Wednesday vaccinated 3,000 patients at the super site. Officials said the goal was to be able to do two and a half times that many people next week — if vaccine doses are available.
“I know people are excited to get the vaccine, which is thrilling to me,” O.C. spokesperson Molly Nichelson told CBSLA. “But at the same point in time, we can’t have them line up and come down if they do not currently fit in Tier 1A and have not made a reservation.”
HCA noted that its three other vaccination sites have been “overwhelmed” by people showing up without appointments.
“The county’s three existing point-of-distribution sites were overwhelmed by individuals without appointments today, effectively shutting down the vaccination sites,” HCA wrote in a news release Tuesday. “It is critical for people to understand that appointment slots are available based on vaccine availability. Showing up without an appointment stresses the system and depletes scarce resources.”
Disneyland will be one of five O.C. vaccine super sites. Huntington Beach City Manager Oliver Chi told the Voice of OC last week that the other large vaccination super sites will be located at Knott’s Berry Farm, the Orange County Fairgrounds, The Great Park and Soka University.
Also Tuesday, O.C. Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau announced that anyone age 65 or older will now be eligible to get vaccinated. That’s in addition to healthcare workers, emergency responders and residents of skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
“The people in the ICU on ventilators are typically the 50-and-over crowd, and it definitely skews more to the 65 and older crowd,” Dr. Jim Keany with Mission Hospital Mission Viejo told CBSLA Tuesday. “As we continue to get vaccines, let’s start lowering the requirements and just get through the population as fast as we can.”