‘The dreaded red box:’ How I tried, and failed, to get the vaccine

| 22 Feb 2021 | 05:49

To the Editor:

I am 84 years old and am very anxious to get the Covid-19 vaccination. However, I am not very optimistic.

Here’s how I have made out so far:

According to the paper, there were three options, but I could not seem to have any luck. However, I did find a site to pre-register, which I did. I contacted the Sussex County Health Department and a lady there was very helpful and gave me a couple of suggestions.

Eventually, I found the county site for vaccinations at the county fairgrounds. The site has a link for scheduling appointments; however, I clicked on it about 50 times and each time a red box would pop up saying no appointments were available. Then, early on the morning of Thursday, Feb. 4, it announced that appointments were available eight days later, on Feb 12.

I proceeded and a listing of morning time slots appeared. I selected 8:45: “No longer available.” I tried a couple more with the same result.

So I went to one of the last time slots, 11:45, and Voila! I’m in! Now, I had to enter the same information I had provided when I pre-registered. Once I had provided all the requisite information, I hit “Submit” and got a “No longer available.” Apparently, someone else was doing the same thing I was, only they were a second or two ahead of me. And of course none of the other slots were available either by then. Since then, I have tried about 50 more times, only to get the dreaded red box.

I registered with Atlantic Health, and, after sending me an acknowledgement, I have heard nothing other than a couple of “hang in there” messages.

Then some of the pharmaceutical chains announced that they would be administering the vaccine. Same result. One chain was sort of amusing in a way; they ask for your zip code, and 10 or so stores within a 50-mile radius pop up on a map. You then click on the store(s) of your choice to make an appointment.

No you don’t!

I have given up. I guess I will have to rely on face masks and social distancing to keep from getting the virus.

Robert D. Worth