cook county covid vaccine

Cook County Residents Run Into Issues While Trying To Book COVID Vaccine Appointments

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Frustration is growing as some people say they're running into problems while trying to book an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine through the Cook County Health website. 

Chris Zotti is over 65 and has been trying for weeks to get an appointment anywhere for the COVID vaccine.

"I probably go in 15-to-20 times a day to all the different sites signed into and there's just nothing," she said.

She was hoping Tuesday morning would be different after Cook County Health opened up appointments at a second mass vaccination site.

"I was really excited when I saw the news about the new one for Triton College," said Zotti.

Zotti logged on and said she was finally able to select her date and time. 

"There was just relief when I was able to get through the site and get there and when the spinning started I'm like no this can't be," she said. "They can't do this to us." 

Zotti got a spinning arrow on her screen and after two hours of waiting she said the page timed out.

"It was all the emotions. It was anger. It was frustration and then just sadness," she said. "Because I knew I was not the only one going through this." 

The website launched last week for those who live in suburban Cook County and as of Tuesday evening the first doses of the vaccine have already been booked. Health officials telling the public the demand is far greater than the supply.

"I'm going to keep trying until I get one," said Robert Hevey, who lives in Glenview. 

NBC 5 reached out to the Cook County Department of Public Health about the issues. A spokesperson told NBC 5 in a statement the website saw nearly 1.9 million hits in the first hour and more than 3,400 appointments were booked in the first 35 minutes. At its peak, the website had 65,810 hits in a single minute, according to CCDPH. 

"We continue to monitor the user experience and make adjustments to improve the service despite the limited availability of the vaccine," the statement read in part. 

CCDPH is asking for everyone's patience and encourage residents to look for other vaccine providers in their area. 

"The fact there isn't that much vaccines I think we all understand, but the fact the server is failing people, that's not acceptable," said Hevey.

Hevey said the server timed out on him while trying to book an appointment Tuesday morning for Triton College and the week before that for the Tinley Park Convention Center.

"I made it as far as the contact information," he explained. "Before the last step --filled it all in and it started, the little wheel spinning."

As for now those who are still waiting to get into the system through the Cook County website said it's like playing the lottery.

"I have to say given all that I've been through I don't hold out much hope that the system here they have set up is going to work for me," said Zotti.

The Cook County Department of Public Health said new appointments will be released every Friday at noon. You can go to or call 1-833-308-1988. The phone lines are opened Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

CCDPH said individuals who successfully booked an appointment through the website will receive a confirmation email or text. 

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