WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Publix said more than 45,000 additional appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine were made available Friday at 6 a.m., but many seniors and their families walked away feeling empty-handed and frustrated.
The appointments were all booked before 8 a.m.
"In less than 2.5 hours, we reserved more than 48,900 appointments," Publix spokeswoman Maria Brous said. "At any given point in time this morning, we had more than 300,000 customers accessing the system and trying to reserve an appointment. There is more demand than supply."
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Several Twitter users posted they had waited on the page since 6 a.m., but weren't given access to the system.
Demand far exceeds the very limited supply and only a small portion of our site visitors were able to book their appointments. There will be more opportunities in the future. We appreciate your patience and encourage you to try again next Wednesday, January 27. ■Matt— PublixHelps (@PublixHelps) January 22, 2021
The landing page reads, "Our vaccine scheduling system is currently live, but full with other customers. There is tremendous demand for the vaccine and a limited supply, so please be patient and do not leave the page. If room becomes available, this page will display instructions on how to book an appointment."
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As customers took their frustrations to Twitter, Publix posted, "To make sure our site remains stable, we limit the number of people in the reservation system at a time. If you are on our waiting page, our reservation system is full. Every few minutes, more people are let in to book their appointments."
To make sure our site remains stable, we limit the number of people in the reservation system at a time. If you are on our waiting page, our reservation system is full. Every few minutes, more people are let in to book their appointments. Thank you for your patience. ■Matt— PublixHelps (@PublixHelps) January 22, 2021
Publix told customers to not refresh the page.
We do not recommend refreshing the page manually. We are limiting the number of people in our reservation system to ensure our site remains stable. Our waiting page refreshes every minute while more people are let in to book their appointments. «Lexie— PublixHelps (@PublixHelps) January 22, 2021
Nancy Keith said she woke up early to attempt to schedule a vaccine appointment for her husband.
"We had three computer screens opened -- a laptop, a desktop and a tablet," she said.
But the North Palm Beach woman's plan was unsuccessful.
"Unfortunately for us, it seemed that we made the mistake in not scrolling all the way to the bottom of the screen to the button where it says book an appointment," Keith said.
To make an appointment at a Publix in Florida, click here.
The next opportunity to book an appointment will be Wednesday, "as long as we receive the expected vaccines," Brous said.