We were watching Wednesday night and saw the state throw the switch early – before midnight. Its appointment website, MyTurn.ca.gov, was streamlined, as promised, so "everyone" 16 or older could get in.
And luckily, it has not crashed.
MORE PEOPLE, SAME SCARCE APPOINTMENTS
Prior to the switch, the state said it was processing about 15,000 transactions per hour. So, what about now? The California Department of Public Health said it's too early for updated numbers. But it assured us that MyTurn’s max capacity is 300,000 transactions per hour.
The computer can handle a ton more requests from millions of newly eligible people.
So, is vaccine supply ramping up to meet the demand? Not really. Unfortunately, it does not appear gobs more appointments, which hinge on dose availability, were added.
VACCINE FORECAST: UNCHANGED
On Thursday, the state said it expects vaccine supply to remain "flat" over the next three weeks – about 1.9 to two million doses per week.
That means the hunt for an appointment might drag on for folks like Tracy Hoyt in San Jose. She wrote us a few days ago and said she can't get an appointment.
"I'm searching five hours a day,” she said. “I'm so frustrated."
What can people like Tracy do?
KEEP UP THE HUNT
Continue searching on MyTurn.ca.gov and though local public health offices. Pharmacies are an option because they get their doses from a federal pool. On the first day of “open season,” we saw big swings in pharmacy appointment availability.
CVS, for example, had 147 open locations overnight. But, as people booked on Thursday, that dwindled to just 18 this afternoon.
A CVS rep declined to share any statistics. She simply said its appointment engine was “busy” on Thursday.
Rite Aid was a different story, it seems. A bot we follow on Twitter showed locations with open appointments had basically doubled between overnight and the afternoon.
IMPATIENT? DRIVE EAST.
The big question there is: where? Usually, not around the Bay Area.
CVS has previously said it selects locations for new doses using a social vulnerability index that prioritizes high risk areas. At the same time, CVS said it's OK to cross county lines.
We're still finding lots of openings in the Central Valley, just as we have for a few weeks now. So, if you're willing to drive, you could get a shot soon – maybe even the same day you hunt. If you can’t travel, try to search for appointments several times each day on multiple sites.
Groups on social media are banding together to help people find appointments. That’s OK. Just be wary of sharing too much personal information with a stranger.