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Frustration grows as Publix COVID-19 vaccine appointments fill

More than 48,900 appointments reserved in less than 2.5 hours, Publix says
Posted at 5:37 AM, Jan 22, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-22 17:10:27-05

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."

RELATED: COVID-19 vaccine information, county by county

Several Twitter users posted they had waited on the page since 6 a.m., but weren't given access to the system.

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."


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."

Publix told customers to not refresh the page.

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.