By David Goldstein

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) – Within minutes after Los Angeles County went online allowing the first people other than healthcare workers and first responders to get the vaccine, the state-run website crashed for several hours.

Eric Lafayette, 70, went on the county website as soon as he heard they were accepting appointments for 65 and older. But he says each location he chose just didn’t work.

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“They all exploded one after the other. You couldn’t even log in,” he said.

On Tuesday the county claimed those who are 65 and older could book an appointment. But on the website they apologized for the system going down for several hours that afternoon.

Even today we went online to find some time slots saying you “can” register. But once you go through the registration process it shows zero appointments available.

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Political watchdog Jack Humphreville says judging from past failures, how could you expect anything better?

“I think they’re doing a terrible job. From the guys that brought you the DMV, EDD, the high-speed rail. Here we got another one,” Humphreville said.

County officials say it will get better when more vaccines become available. But getting them into the arms of people will take time.

UCLA epidemiologist Dr. Shira Shafir, who has worked on the vaccine rollout, says government is woefully underfunded when it comes to distribution.

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“Essentially we asked people to solve a once in a lifetime challenge without giving once in a lifetime resources in order to do that, so unfortunately there’s not much unexpected about our situation,” Shafir said.

David Goldstein