Walgreens COVID-19 vaccinate site crashes; issues booking appointments

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE): 14 Walgreens locations started vaccinating eligible Rhode Islanders on Tuesday.

Vaccinations are by appointment only through the Walgreens website or app. However, ABC6 News spoke some to people who had major issues making one, including Steven Lisi who tried to make an appointment for his 88-year-old mother.

“A 3:15 in the morning on Sunday I tried to book through the Walgreens website,” Lisi said. “I must’ve tried 30 to 40 times. Finally, at about 11 o’clock in the morning, I was able to make an appointment for her.”

“First you think you have it, then you don’t,” John Petell, who got vaccinated, said.

We wanted to try it out for ourselves to see how difficult or easy it was to actually book a vaccination appointment. When we went to the Walgreens website and tried to schedule an appointment, an error message popped up that said, “We are sorry for the inconvenience, but this service is currently unavailable right now.”

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A representative told ABC6 news the site crashed, most likely from the volume of people trying to book an appointment.

“Our neighbor has been trying very hard he hasn’t been able to get through yet but he’s old enough,” Petell said.

According to the state guidelines, people 75 and older are the last in this phase approved to be getting the vaccine right now.

However, ABC6 News spoke with a 55-year-old man who said he was able to book an appointment and get vaccinated.

Mark Anderson said he has several severe underlying health conditions and is at high risk.

“A little bit guilty because I’m not 75 yet, but if they didn’t really want me to get it they would’ve told me because they know my age,” Anderson said.

Those who are eligible are just thankful to get their first dose.

“It gives me the confidence to be more interactive,” Petell said.

ABC6 News reached out to Walgreens on whether they are going to improve the process and why people under 75 years old are getting vaccinated.

We have not heard back and will update the story once we do.

Categories: Coronavirus, News, Rhode Island