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Portal for vaccine appointments in Palm Beach County still being tested as seniors wait

Contact 5 continues to ask questions about vaccine rollout
Posted at 5:50 PM, Jan 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-06 18:26:55-05

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Since last week, Stephanie Donner said she has called and emailed the health department seeking an appointment to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

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Contact 5 went back to her home Wednesday, two days after we first shared her story of frustration and asked her if she heard back.

"No, nothing, not even an email response, no automated response, no phone call," she said. "I think I'm putting my life at risk. That's how I feel."

Stephanie Donner
Stephanie Donner, a Palm Beach County resident, says she is frustrated by the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Hearing stories like Donner's and others, Contact 5 tried again Wednesday unsuccessfully to get an interview with the director of the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County.

A spokesperson with the department told Contact 5 Tuesday that a new portal for scheduling vaccine appointments is in the final stages of testing, and that they're currently vaccinating 500 people per day as well as making plans to increase the number in the very near future."

Palm Beach County Commissioner Maria Sachs, who represents one of the largest senior communities in the county, told Contact 5 that the state needs to invest in better technology. She's hoping the pandemic turns into an opportunity for those upgrades.

 Palm Beach County Commissioner Maria Sachs
Palm Beach County Commissioner Maria Sachs says the state needs to invest in better technology to rollout the vaccine to the public.

"We got to get up to scale on technology. There's no reason for us to have phone lines that crash," Sachs said.

Contact 5 also pressed Sachs on the current system in place and asked her if she thinks it could have been executed better.

"I think we're doing the best we can with the vaccines that we have, and the preparation that we had to disperse hundreds of thousands of vaccines to the people in our county," Sachs said.

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