Orange County vaccination reservation system goes down, delays appointment booking

Orange County’s vaccine reservation system went down Thursday. It was supposed to open at 8 a.m., but because so many people tried to access it at once, some Internet service providers thought there was a hack. 

The reservation system is run by a third party vendor via the Department of Health in Orange County and are the lead agency with vaccination distribution. 

Phyllis Humphreys received a message about the outage on Thursday after trying over and over again to make a COVID-19 vaccine appointment in Orange County.

"That’s been the day. That’s the been the whole day so I’ve been trying not to have anything to do so I can refresh the screen so that whenever it comes up, we’ll be able to log on," said Humphreys, who lives in Leesburg.

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It’s been like that for a lot of people. Orange County’s portal to book appointments shut down after it was overloaded with people trying to log on. It wasn’t just Orange County residents, but people from all over the state and country.

People were first told to try again at noon, then at 2 p.m., then 4 p.m

"Every time you try and do this and see another delay, what is running through your mind?" Fox 35 asked Humphreys.

"Oh, where can I get another Xanax comes to my mind," said Humphreys.

CDR Health manages the site and says many, like Humphreys, received a denial of service notice.

"That was actually a block that was generated by their specific internet service provider," said CDR Health CEO Tina Vidal-Duart.

The service providers saw so much traffic, they thought there was a hack.

"We’ve been working with the Internet service providers all day today so that they are aware that the site is a valid site," said Vidal-Duart.

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Some, including Phyllis Humphreys, say they understand what happened, but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.

"It’s like okay you said that nobody wanted vaccines, but we do. And we’re not able to get it. The level of communication around this has been horrendous."

CDR Health and Orange County opted to keep the site shut down until they could work out the issues. They say 3000 people were able to book appointments before the site shut down. The site was expected to be up and running at some point Thursday.

Watch FOX 35 Orlando for the latest Central Florida news.